City officials said Thursday that updated technology is being brought in for the speed and red light camera enforcement program.
The new equipment is radar-based and has a number of advantages over the former laser-based program, Police Sgt. Gary Martin said.
He said with the new system that speed cameras can be set up on tripods "on places where it is hard to park the van."
The new system uses a single camera per location rather than a combination of several cameras and gets a better picture of the vehicle tag and other details, it was stated.
City Traffic Engineer John Van Winkle said when the contract expired with Lasercraft, the city sought bids and a look at speed camera improvements. He said it was decided to go with the Sensys firm.
Sgt. Martin said the program will remain "pretty much revenue neutral." He said Sensys will get a small percentage of each $50 fine and the main charge is $1,600 per month per red light camera and $1,400 per month per mobile camera. He said there will not be the full charge if that much revenue is not generated from a particular location.
Mr. Van Winkle said any profit goes to the driver education program.
He said the program is effective "in changing drivers' behavior." He said there were 100 wrecks on the Hixson Pike S Curves in 2001. The road was repaved and a fixed speed camera was installed. He said there were two accidents in that stretch of curvy road last year.
Four Ford Explorers are being used in the updated program.