No green light for cameras

Published 8:26 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Traffic volume doesn’t justify set-up


Any hope that cameras put at a busy traffic path on 58 could both discourage speeding and collect revenue has been brought to a halt.

Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson recently informed the supervisors that based on information given by the Virginia Department of Transportation, Redflex Traffic Systems has decided there’s not enough red light violations (volume) to justify that company’s installation of cameras on the traffic signal at Storys Station Road and Southampton Parkway (U.S. Highway 58) in Courtland.

Johnson said Redflex would usually need at least $5,700 per camera per month to cover the cost of both installation and monitoring.

Two cameras would be needed — one for eastbound and another for westbound. An estimate 228 tickets would have to be issued and collected on.

The area at Storys Station and Southampton has been a troubling one for many residents, who say they have witnessed cars and trucks continuing to go faster than the 50 mph limit in that business section.

“We’re not very good in collecting in Virginia,” Johnson added. “Being caught running a red light is a civil penalty, much like a parking ticket. There’s simply not enough to justify [the cameras.]”

Immediately afterward, someone in the audience was heard to say, “That’s not true.”

Supervisor Barry Porter then asked if shoulders could be established for deputies who have to pull over speeding motorists.


In other council business, the board OK’d the increase of emergency ambulance transport fees. This becomes effective on Thursday, Aug. 1. Basic life support transports will increase to $450, ALS-1 transports will increase to $650, ALS-2 transports will increase to $900 and the charge per patient transport mile will increase to $13.

Speaking of first responders, four volunteer fire departments requested capital funding, which is kept for when needed. Courtland will take $14,000 for its fiscal year 2020 funding to make a payment on Engine 43. Hunterdale will draw $56,000 from fiscal years 2017-2020. That will go to partially pay for a $240,000 brush truck, expected to be delivered in August or September.

Ivor will take $14,000 from fiscal year 2017 to expand the unit’s parking lot. The money from fiscal years 2018-2020 will stay in escrow.

Sedley VFD will get $84,000, which is its funding for fiscal years 2015 through 2020. The money will partially reimburse the department for its recent buying of a 1997 Freightliner S&S tanker/pumper.