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KC Council Approves Contract for Red Light Cameras

By Steve Bell

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri motorists will soon be on candid camera at selected intersections, but they needn't smile. Only their license plates will be photographed.

The Kansas City Council set the wheels in motion Thursday for the installation of the first 12 red-light cameras. The cameras will photograph the license plates, but not the faces of motorists who run red lights. The vehicle owner would then get a $100 traffic ticket.

Public Safety chair Cathy Jolly says the cameras will be placed based at intersections with high collision rates, and motorists will have plenty of opportunity to know in advance what intersections those are. "The public is going to know that we are doing it," says Jolly. "They are going to know when it's going to start. They're going to know which intersections have the cameras. There's going to be a web site where they can go to be educated."

There will also be signs at the intersections declaring that a camera is in service.

Councilman John Sharp refuted rumors that the cameras are a revenue source masquerading as a safety initiative. Sharp says,"They aren't going to be prioritized where we can write the most tickets, but where we can save the most lives, where we cans save the most property damage and injuries."

Shortly after the council approved ordering the cameras, the council chambers more than 200 city employees, mostly firefighters, poured into the chamber. They were protesting the mayor's suggestion that pension plans be changed to self- contribution plans.

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