Leng looks to prevent people from running red lights

Brooke Reilly

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Red light cameras are currently illegal in the state of Connecticut. But will they be much longer?

Hamden Mayor Curt Leng is pursuing an initiative to allow cameras on traffic lights to capture videos of cars speeding through red lights.

“These cameras would make all drivers realize that if they illegally run a red light, they are very likely to receive a ticket, hopefully cutting down on the myriad of cars that are running red lights,” Leng said in a statement to Q30. “Our Town has 240 miles of road. There’s no possible way to be at every intersection with a police officer, even with increased enforcement. These cameras would allow us to have eyes in more locations and make our streets and our intersections safer.”

With increased police enforcement at traffic lights, the addition of cameras can assist them with identifying those who run red lights.

“I think that we should look at ways to deter those intersections that are dangerous without taking away man power from different types of calls that may need actual people there,” said Officer Dennis Putnam of the Hamden Police Department Traffic Division.

One of the leading causes of people running red lights is due to distracted and inexperienced driving.

“Not knowing how fast their car is or paying attention to other things, and in this generation a lot of people try and multitask,” said Putnam. “Sometimes that takes away from the focus of actually driving.”

Although Mayor Leng and Officer Putnam think having cameras on traffic lights could positively impact the Town of Hamden, some Quinnipiac students who are from states where this is legal disagree.

Kate Sapienza, a junior from New York, claims that she was falsely accused of speeding through a red light by a camera on the traffic light.

“Some of the cameras are faulty,” Sapienza said. “They send you a video clip of you supposedly going through the red light, but the video clip came back with me stopped at the red light.”

As the Town of Hamden continues to replace outdated traffic lights at seven intersections, Leng hopes that cameras on traffic lights will soon become legal in Connecticut.