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Big 10: New camera debuts

Starting today, violators will receive tickets

SUWANEE - A digital camera is acting as traffic cop at a 10th Gwinnett intersection.

Tickets will be issued beginning today for those caught on camera running a red light at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Satellite Boulevard.

Suwanee spokeswoman Lynne Bohlman-DeWilde said the system sent warnings to about 200 violators from April 20 to May 17, the last time information was available.

That's well below the 829 violators warned when the city began its first foray into red-light cameras at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

But Suwanee's Special Projects Manager Kristi McCarley said it was too early for officials to comment on the effectiveness of the program.

"We are trying to change the driving behavior of people who go through that intersection, and changing behavior takes time," she said.

Suwanee is the fifth Gwinnett government to use cameras to catch red-light runners, a technology that is catching on across the nation.

According to a Gwinnett Daily Post study performed on the first anniversary of the first camera in the county, the number of tickets per intersection from red-light cameras has decreased monthly.

Duluth began the local trend when it started ticketing violators at the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in March 2005.

In the first year, about $2 million had been collected from fines in Duluth, Lilburn, Snellville and Gwinnett County.

Tickets carry a $70 fine.