Cameras Going Up at Traffic Lights in Hamden

Using red light cameras to ticket drivers is not currently allowed under state law.

Hamden’s mayor is hoping to catch drivers running red lights with new traffic cameras. But there’s a catch - by law, the cameras can’t be used for that purpose right now.

Right now new traffic lights are going up at seven intersections in town including here at Dixwell and Whitney avenues.

As crews work to replace aging equipment, some see an opportunity to help tackle a problem.

Mayor Curt Leng had his own close call with someone running a light as he tried to cross Whitney Avenue.

While police have boosted enforcement, the mayor also hopes cameras being installed along with new traffic lights could make a difference.

“I think the red light cameras are really effective tools if they’re used carefully,” Leng, a Democrat said.

But using the cameras to ticket drivers is not currently allowed under state law. The mayor hopes to change that by starting talks with local lawmakers, among others, including about a potential pilot program here.

“Even if we don’t put out the tickets, let us use them to get the data because that’s what’s important,” Leng said.

The idea of red light cameras has previously faced opposition in the state, including concerns about privacy and effectiveness.

Grants are helping to pay for the lights’ $2.8 million cost.

As for now, the mayor says the cameras can still be used by police to help solve crimes in the area.

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