User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


40° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Camera Shy

July 25, 2010, 10:00 PM by Perry Groten

Camera Shy
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's been more than three weeks since the city of Sioux Falls pulled the plug on the red light cameras at 10th and Minnesota amid legal challenges to the ticketing process. You'll be seeing more police officers at the busy intersection now that the city no longer patrols it electronically. We find out how this human touch is reaching out to red light violators.

An intersection where cameras once had an unblinking view of traffic has given way to the low-tech gaze of police patrols.

"Officers are traversing that intersection every single day, multiple times," Lt. Jerome Miller of the Sioux Falls Police Dept. said.

But patrolmen working from one shift to the next, can't devote the same amount of time as the round-the-clock surveillance once provided by the now-defunct red light cameras.

"There are so many lanes and so many different ways a violation can occur, to have any one or two officers sit there and observe those, it's a lot more difficult, without a doubt," Miller said.

With parking at a premium at 10th and Minnesota, police are making the most of limited space for their patrols.

"It's difficult to find a place to put a squad car, without a doubt, so you'll probably see motor officers out there, sitting somewhere or maybe you won't see the motor officers sitting there, but he's still going to be there, you can bet on that," Miller said.

The cameras kept red light runners in check during the six years they operated. The number of violations dropped from a high of 1,000 a month down to around 300 a month. But police don't expect to see a dramatic rise in violations now that the cameras have stopped snapping pictures.

"I would certainly like to think that the citizens of Sioux Falls and our visitors would want to stop just for the sake of the safety aspect alone," Miller said.

Lt. Miller's traffic assessment held true during the time we spent at 10th and Minnesota. After 15 minutes, plenty of traffic went by, but no violations. A half-hour later, still no lights and sirens. Finally, after 45 minutes, the patrol officer was in hot pursuit. But he wasn't chasing down a car that blew a red light. Instead, it was a man on the sidewalk, who crossed the intersection against the lights.

The red light cameras were never programmed to catch jaywalkers. But now that police are patrolling this intersection, they expect to catch a lot more pedestrians crossing against the lights and walking their way toward a ticket.

"An officer there and he observes a violation, if a pedestrian walks out in front of traffic and that's a violation, yeah, I would say it would be safe to assume that they would get a ticket for that, too," Miller said.

In this case, the officer didn't issue a ticket, only a warning. But police say they'll be just as tough on pedestrians who break the law as they are on drivers. After all, it's just as hazardous to be on foot at a busy intersection as it is behind the wheel when the lights aren't in your favor. And while police prepare to begin school patrols soon, they're adding 10th and Minnesota to their growing list of responsibilities, confident in overseeing safe travels, whether it's on the street, or in the crosswalk.

With the cameras gone, running a red light at 10th and Minnesota will be considered a misdemeanor, not a civil penalty. That means any ticket will go on your driving record, and boost your insurance premiums. Plus, as of July 1, the fine went up to $120.

Previous Story

Next Story




 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

You may also like

Car Crashes Into SF House

4/24/2014 8:00 AM

Two children are safe and uninjured after a car crashed through their house.

Full Story
FBI Investigates Suspected Serial Child Molester

4/22/2014 1:14 PM

The FBI is asking for help to identify at least 90 victims of a suspected serial child predator who worked in American schools worldwide for four deca...

Full Story
Car Against Guard Rail On I-229

4/21/2014 7:24 AM

Sioux Falls Police and the South Dakota highway patrol responded to a crash around 11:45 Sunday night. The initial call came in as a vehicle fire...

Full Story | Watch
Two-Year-Old Safe After Kidnapping

4/24/2014 10:45 AM

A two-year-old Sioux Falls child is safe following a cross country kidnapping.

Full Story
SFPD: 80 Involved In Overnight Bar Fight

4/18/2014 11:42 AM

Sioux Falls Police broke up a large fight Friday morning at Bigs Sports Bar on West 12th Street.

Full Story


Events

 
 
KELOLAND TV: 501 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605.336.1100 · Breaking News call: 1-800-888-5356
Web Site Design and Custom Programming By: Lawrence & Schiller© 2014 KELO-TV -- KELOLAND.COM -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED