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Red-light cameras make a comeback in Lilburn
Officials: Drivers began to run lights once devices were deactivated

LILBURN - After a three-month hiatus, red-light cameras are back at two Lilburn intersections.

The LaserCraft cameras were temporarily suspended in March, pending a cost-benefit analysis, but were made operational again Tuesday.

"Our goal was to get the red-light camera program going again," City Manager Bill Johnsa said. "The state added one second to the amber setting and we saw a temporary decrease in citations. After a few months with the red-light cameras deactivated, people again began to run the red lights at a dangerous rate. We believe the red-light cameras are the best way to stop people that run red lights."

The cameras are located along U.S. Highway 29 at Indian Trail-Lilburn and Beaver Ruin roads.

At one time, six Gwinnett governments used red-light cameras for traffic enforcement, but all except Gwinnett County stopped or suspended their use. In Norcross, police Chief Dallas Stidd said the cameras did a good job, but that the extra second state law added to amber lights effectively stopped red-light runners.

Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said economic woes prompted his department to nix red-light cameras in favor of keeping positions open for police officers.

"To maintain (the camera program), we'd have to lay more people off," he said in March.

While some believe that the cameras' purpose is revenue rather than safety, Lilburn officials continue to cite safety as the program's goal.

"We know automated traffic enforcement programs reduce accidents and the injuries associated with them, so we are happy to be able to continue this program," Chief John Davidson said. "Since the inception of the program, accidents at the intersections monitored by cameras have been significantly reduced."