Red light cameras: coming soon to an intersection near you


Mawj Alkubaisi

A car drives along Durham Road as Advanced Photography students capture panning shots. Red light cameras have been installed at three intersections along highway 99W in Tigard.

By Olivia Young, Features Editor

    To all THS students who drive: be on the lookout for new photo red light cameras on your route to and from school. These new cameras, set up along 99W at the intersections of Hall, Durham, and 72nd Avenue, were implemented earlier this year to protect drivers and pedestrians who use this intersection.

    A set of new regulations are put in place because of these new cameras. If a driver is more than a quarter of the way into the intersection, they will be eligible for a ticket. Not only will these new cameras take a picture of your license plate if you get caught running a red light, the cameras also have a capability to record your plates if you’re caught speeding on green as well. If you’re going 11 miles over the speed limit, you could also get ticketed, though that is not part of the initial rollout.

    Receptionist Shari Balcom thinks these lights are a good thing for students who periodically forget to drive safely. She gets frequent calls from neighbors complaining about how fast students are driving, so she thinks these lights will help with that.

    “I think a lot of people run red lights, so it’s probably not a bad idea to have [these lights],” Balcom said. “I just think it’s really important to be safe so you don’t get yourself into a situation where you could get hurt.”

    However, some people believe the cameras are less about safety and more about providing revenue for the city. Their arguments can be found filling the comment section of The Portland Tribune Jan. 20 story about the lights: “Red-light cameras coming to Pacific Highway in Tigard.”

    Some student drivers find these new red light cameras unnecessary. Junior Philip Kolarov disagrees with Balcom, saying that not a lot of students run red lights.

    “Having a red light camera does not make me a better driver, it just makes me and other be more cautious around that one light,” Kolarov said. “That won’t change how me or others drive… most of the time [the cameras] don’t affect anything. It’s pointless.”

    Regardless of student or public opinion, everyone should be aware of the new cameras that will affect their routes.