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Police Pushing to Turn Red Light Cameras Back on in Modesto

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MODESTO -- The Modesto Police Department may soon make a decision on whether or not to to reactivate four red light cameras that haven't been running in the city for the past two years.

"It's just like seeing a CHP officer in the highway. If you see that highway patrolman, you're gonna slow down, same thing with a red light camera, if you know it's operating and you know you're gonna go through that intersection you're going to stop at the red light," Modesto police department spokesperson Heather Graves said.

Driver Eli Newman agreed with the notion that red light cameras can act as a deterrent for drivers even if people don't see them snapping photos.

"Because just in case they might work. I know they don't flash, I haven't seen them flash in forever but I do slow down," Newman said.

Police department reports show that in the past two years since these cameras were deactivated, police issued about 13 percent less tickets and recorded nearly 12 percent more accidents.

Driver Danielle Rode thought people might have caught onto the cameras.

"They're like whatever, who cares, people just run it and they're not gonna get caught, you know?" Rode said.

Graves said the increase in accidents was probably a mix of having the cameras deactivated and 24 percent decreased staffing levels on a department wide level.

She said the department would likely speak with the city in July to discuss making room to find the cameras in the new budget.

"It's something that we definitely want to look into and we're hoping to consider obviously it's all about cost," Graves said.