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Red Light Camera Activated In Center City

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Monday, the Philadelphia Parking Authority activated five new red-light cameras at Broad and Vine Streets near Hahnemann Hospital and Roman Catholic High School.

“It’s a very busy intersection, for not just vehicles but pedestrians,” said Christopher Vogler with the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

“I mean, it can help everyone out and it makes it safer for everyone,” said Seaun Gibbons, a senior at Roman Catholic.

In 2005, dangerous intersections along Roosevelt Boulevard, were some of the first, in Philadelphia to get red light cameras.

The Broad and Vine Streets intersection is the 20th intersection in the city where big brother can catch you going through red lights, take a picture of your license plate and send you that picture, along with a ticket, in the mail.

Ngozi Ibeh is not a fan of the new cameras. She says she’s received four, $100 tickets from other intersections.

“The red light cameras are inaccurate,” said Ibeh. “I have been a Philadelphian that has thought about leaving this city because of the tickets. My car got booted, on red light tickets.”

That tough enforcement has lead the Parking Authority to an 80% fine collection rate.

“This isn’t a gotcha program,” said Vogler. “We want to make sure the public is aware of where they’re at(referring to the cameras), what they’re for and what the consequences are if you don’t look at safety.

It’s not all about safety. Red-light camera are money makers. In the 2011 fiscal year, the Parking Authority took in $13.7 million from the red-light camera program; $6.1 million was spent on expenses, $7.6 million went to the state.

Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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