Red light cameras in Wilmington, Delaware

The city of Wilmington, Delaware has announced another set of red light cameras, and I thought I would take some time to review the program, and cover some related safety issues. There is so much to cover, that I think I will do so over a series of posts. I am going to start with a very simple overview, and then from there we can look at some more complicated topics.

Who?

The City of Wilmington contracts with a firm called Affiliated Computer Systems (ACS) to administer this program. ACS is a Texas firm, founded in 1988 by Darwin Deason. Mr. Deason remains as chairman, and received a little less than $6 million this past year. It incorporated in 1995, entered the Fortune 1000 in 1999, and then the Fortune 500 in 2003. By 2007, they had annual revenues of $5.8 billion (yes, billion), and approximately 60,000 employees. As early as 2002, one third of their employees were outside of the United States. They identify themselves as the world’s leading business process outsourcing (BPO) firm. History here. You can also see their stock performance and related business news about them on Google Finance here. They identify their red light business under their Public Sector umbrella, and term Photo Enforcement one of their “Public Safety & Justice” businesses. They handle these matters for over 300 jurisdictions, and explain that, “ACS’ [sic] customized solutions provide peace of mind for your residents and increased revenue and resource availability for your municipality.” Their program manager for this business is Shannon Godwin, based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What?

Now that we know a little bit about who this firm is, what product have they installed throughout our city?

Apparently ACS does not make red light cameras – they are intersection safety cameras. Of course. They consist of five components: detection loops, camera, central processing unit, camera housing, and auxiliary flash.The camera itself is described in detail here. If you stop and examine one of these cameras, you can rapidly identify these elements for yourself.

When?

Using the dates the city provided, these camera have appeared in four batches: ten in June 2001; five in August 2005; 4 in May 2008; and another five to come in July 2008.

Where?

Here’s a thumbnail of their placement, but to see them in detail, please follow this link to a much better map I put together using the city’s press release as a guide. Link.

They key to the markers is straightforward: blue locations date to June 2001; green to August 2004; red are new this week (May 2008); and yellow are due in July 2008.

Why?

The short answer to why is safety and revenue. Just what order those two things appear is a function of audience and speaker, so I will pause there for now. After the break is a textual list of the locations, all of which are identified on the map I linked to above.

Location

Activation Date

South Walnut NB @ “A” Street

June 2001

Pennsylvania WB Ave @ Woodlawn Ave

June 2001

Union Street NB @ Prospect Street

June 2001

Concord Avenue WB @ Broom Street

June 2001

4th Street WB @ Scott Street

June 2001

Lancaster Avenue EB @ Lincoln

June 2001

Union Street SB @ Maple Street

June 2001

South Heald SB @ Christina Avenue

June 2001

Union Street SB @ 4th Street

June 2001

Lancaster Avenue EB @ Dupont Street

June 2001

Church St. NB @ 11th Street

August 2004

2nd Street WB @ Adams Street

August 2004

12th Street WB @ Washington Street

August 2004

King St. SB @ 4th Street

August 2004

MLK Blvd WB @ West Street

August 2004

Concord Avenue EB @ Broom Street

May 7, 2008

Lovering Avenue WB @ Augustine Cut-Off

May 7, 2008

S. Walnut Street NB @ 2nd Street

May 7, 2008

Concord Avenue EB @ Market Street

May 7, 2008

30th WB @ Market Street

By July 1, 2008

Lancaster Avenue EB @ Jackson Street

By July 1, 2008

Maryland Avenue EB @ 7th Street

By July 1, 2008

Pennsylvania Avenue EB @ Van Buren Street

By July 1, 2008

Pennsylvania Avenue WB @ Van Buren Street

By July 1, 2008

Delaware Avenue WB @ Clayton Street

By July 1, 2008

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3 thoughts on “Red light cameras in Wilmington, Delaware

  1. Wilmington red-light camera fines bill passes Delaware House

    Raises red-light violation charge

    By J.L. MILLER
    The News Journal

    DOVER — Legislation that would raise the penalty for red-light camera violations in the city of Wilmington from $75 to $110 passed the House on Thursday.

    House Bill 189, sponsored by Rep. Larry Mitchell, D-Elsmere, would bring the fine up to the level of the 20 cameras already operating throughout the rest of the state. Those fines, which actually are a civil penalty, are set at $112.50.

    Mitchell, a former commander of the New Castle County police traffic unit, said he introduced the bill at the request of Wilmington officials.

    Critics of red-light cameras charge that the cameras are more about raising money for cash-strapped governments than about promoting safety.

    But Mitchell said his bill is not a revenue-raiser — it’s aimed at promoting awareness of the consequences of running a red light.

    “I made it absolutely clear to them that this assessment increase is to educate people, to make them aware that this is an offense in the city of Wilmington,” Mitchell said after the vote. “There are two ways to educate people: you either fine them or incarcerate them.”

    Cameras outside the city of Wilmington are placed at dangerous intersections by the Department of Transportation, which will add 10 new cameras by summer: seven in New Castle County, one in Kent County and two in Sussex County.

    House Bill 189, which passed unanimously, now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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