The Town Council has decided to scuttle a proposal to install a traffic enforcement camera to monitor right turns on red at the intersection of Palisades and Shea boulevards.
The item was on the council agenda for Aug. 24, for discussion without action. However, a consensus of the dais indicated no desire to take the proposal any further.
A seeming shroud of secrecy around the vendors who provide the camera services was a primary factor in determining the outcome of the discussion.
Public Works Director Justin Weldy said obtaining information from the two vendors available to the town was “challenging” at best. He said he was told proprietary data and contract secrecy were reasons for reticence on the part of the vendors. According to Weldy the town would need to make requests for proposals to obtain some of the additional information.
Councilman David Spelich said he had been in favor of the idea until doing additional research on his own. Spelich is a former law enforcement officer from Chicago and said he used his contacts to inquire about use of date by Homeland Security Fusion Centers.
“Many think this is just a single picture of a violation, but every vehicle that runs through the intersection will be videotaped,” Spelich said. “That is what turned me against this. The (contractor) has the sole rights to the video information.”
“I don’t think anyone would support constant monitoring,” Mayor Ginny Dickey said.
Town Manager Grady Miller said he had the understanding that the town could dictate privacy issues with photos only taken if a violation occurs.
The Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee will continue to discuss to issue and consider alternatives.
Read more on this story in the Sept. 2 edition of The Times.