infoTECH Feature

February 17, 2011

Marysville, California First to Test 'Smart' Red Light Cameras

Gone are the days of being able to push your luck of running that red light at the last second, putting yourself and others in some serious danger, at least, if you’re a Marysville, Calif., resident. The city is testing out new red-light cameras, the first ever in the U.S., that will allow the devices to detect if a driver is about to run a red light before it even happens.

Located at an intersection between Third and F streets in the city, the new lights are powered by sensors that are underneath the city roads, allowing the cameras to obtain the information and determine the danger.

"Simple, speed equals distance divided by time," noting a bit of simple physics, said Marysville police Sgt. John Osbourn.

"If we can take the other half of the equation, or accident, out by holding the red light by 1 or 2 seconds, then we've made our roadways safer," continued Osbourn as reported by

The new system has been installed and tested in other countries, but now Marysville was given the opportunity to test it in the U.S. market.

Local station KCRA asked residents and business owners how they felt about the new technology being implemented in their city.

"I am tired of people speeding all around here. It ain't safe," said Jacob Lee, manager at Value Home Furnishings.

The running of red lights is a constant problem for the city, however, Marysville Councilman Dale Whitmore feels slightly more cautious about implementing the new technology for the city.

"I would like to see it tested before they bring it here," he said.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet Contributor. She has years of experience in business and marketing. Previously, she worked in broadcast journalism and as an editor abroad in London, England for a privately owned magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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