Wichita police are using 97 cameras to monitor the Old Town area for safety. Now, some of those cameras are being used for traffic enforcement.
The intersections police are monitoring include 1st and Washington, 2nd and Washington, and 3rd and Mead.
“The idea is to improve traffic safety downtown, to enhance enforcement efforts and raise public awareness,” said Sgt. Kelly O’Brien, Wichita Police Department.
Police said they are working the traffic enforcement with the video two hours at a time. In the last two-hour block of time, officers wrote 52 tickets based on 55 violations.
“It has made a difference in the traffic flow, the amount of violations have decreased as a general observation this morning,” said O’Brien.
And, while officers maintain it’s for safety, some who got a ticket with the video enforcement said they were not expecting to be caught on video.
“Two weeks ago, on my way to work I was turning left on Washington, and I got a ticket for not turning into the nearest lane,” said Madison Bauer, who works in Old Town. “They said they saw it on the camera..”
Madison said her ticket will cost her $105, and she wonders if it’s legal.
Officers running the enforcement said they have run it all through the city legal department.
“It’s not our goal to be big brother watching everyone,” said Sgt. O’Brien. “We want to make Old Town safe. We’ve had an increase in accidents at some of the intersections where we now have cameras.”
Sgt. O’Brien said they have commissioned officers watching the cameras. And, when they see a violation they radio an officer to pull the driver over.
The video is kept in the system for 400 days.
Sgt. O’Brian said they will not go back through old video to look for violations when the camera system is not being staffed. It’s not a 24/7 proposition.
“We’re just trying to do an enforcement to keep the streets safe,” said O’Brien.
See the full video at KSN.com