By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Red-light cameras could be operational at three busy intersections in Abington Township by the end of the year.
The move, pending PennDot approvals, would make the township the first suburban community outside of Philadelphia, to install the cameras.
If PennDOT gives the final green light to the project, cameras could be functioning by year’s end at Old York Road and Susquehanna Road, Old York Road and Old Welsh Road, and Moreland Road and Fitzwatertown Road.
The townships commissioners signed a contract with a Massachusetts company to install the cameras at those high-traffic intersections.
Police relied on traffic crash data to determine the best locations.
Up to now, Philadelphia has been the only community in the state to have the red-light cameras operating.
Legislation passed last year expanded the program to allow Pittsburgh and other suburban municipalities, including Abington, the option to explore cameras.
While supporters of the technology claim safety benefits – meaning fewer serious accidents – opponents claim the cameras cause more rear-end collisions and are nothing more than a grab for cash.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the cameras are operating in more than 500 communities across 24 states, and the District of Columbia.
In Pennsylvania, the revenue the cameras raise is first used to support their operation.
The balance goes to a state fund which pays for traffic safety improvement projects.