Dickinson's new traffic light triggers not red light ticket camerasThere is no need to fear, Dickinson drivers. No one is watching you from cameras near red lights.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
There is no need to fear, Dickinson drivers. No one is watching you from cameras near red lights.
Workers spotted Thursday hovering over the stoplights near the intersection of Interstate 94 and Highway 22 in Dickinson were not installing red light traffic cameras, according the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
“They were our workers and they were putting up new video vehicle detection devices to trigger the lights to change when cars are approaching the intersection,” said Jamie Olson with the NDDOT’s communications
Olson said the device is an upgrade that replaces the underground wires that previously controlled traffic flow.
She was not sure which intersections in Dickinson would be fitted with the upgraded devices.
Olson said the above-ground mechanisms are not a new concept, but just a different way of controlling traffic flow at the intersection.
Capt. Dave Wilkie with the Dickinson Police Department said Friday when monitoring devices are placed on state roads, like Highway 22, the NDDOT has jurisdiction over the area and the police department would not have been consulted prior.
“Whatever went up there, it’s not ours,” Wilkie said.
Olson said the NDDOT is handling the labor involved in the installation of the devices at traffic lights within the city.
Then, the NDDOT will hand them over to the city to be responsible for maintaining the devices, she said.
While Dickinson drivers may not have to worry about red light cameras at this time, motorists who are making their way through South Heart may have to pay closer attention to their speed through the city limits if the council purchases speed cameras.
Mayor Floyd Hurt said the city is looking into the cost of the cameras right now. He said the devices would be placed on the road coming north and south into town, where he said traffic is heaviest.
“We don’t have anything in operation now,” he said. “We would have to redo our ordinances and get them approved, then we might, but it also depends on the cost of the cameras. We don’t want to spend too much money, so if they’re not too high cost, then we might look at getting them.”
The council asked City Attorney Patrick Hope to prepare an ordinance pertaining to speed cameras and to see if the video footage from the cameras can be used to issue tickets to motorists who are caught speeding.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association website, North Dakota does not have a red light camera law at this time.