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Suwanee begins ticketing at red light

SUWANEE - Red-light camera ticketing began Thursday in Suwanee, the fifth government in Gwinnett to begin using the technology to issue tickets for the traffic violations.

During a monthlong warning period at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, the cameras caught an average of 28 red-light runners a day for a total of 829 warnings.

"As a police department, we want to see a reduction in serious accidents and a reduction in injuries caused by accidents. That's our hope," said Suwanee Police Chief Mike Jones. "The cameras have reduced the need for officers to work that intersection, and, as a result, we've been able to assign officers to other areas."

Earlier this month, a Gwinnett Daily Post study revealed that the number of tickets from red-light cameras at intersections throughout the county has decreased monthly.

The trend of using the technology began a year ago, when the city of Duluth started

ticketing violators at the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Since then, about $2 million has been collected from fines in Duluth, Lilburn, Snellville and Gwinnett County. Norcross officials are working to begin a program in that city.

Jones said the Suwanee system hasn't been operating long enough for him to determine if it's meeting the city's goals, but next month, officials plan to set up the cameras at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Satellite Boulevard.

In addition, the Legislature is considering allowing cameras to be used to catch speeders in school zones. Snellville and Gwinnett County police departments have expressed interest in the technology.

This week, the city of Duluth announced a program to install cameras on school buses to deter motorists from passing the vehicles.