A red-light camera monitoring system to catch drivers running red lights has been installed at Bayfront Expressway and Chilco Street in eastern Menlo Park.
This is the fourth location for the red-light cameras in Menlo Park.
The intersection was chosen "because of a high volume of collisions due to speed and red-light violations," according to Nicole Acker, spokesperson for the Menlo Park Police Department.
Running red lights has caused 28 percent of major injury collisions and 14 percent of fatality collisions in Menlo Park, police say.
In August 2011, a fatality occurred at that intersection when Richard Buckley, a 64-year-old bicyclist, died after his bike and a Lincoln Town car collided.
Menlo Park ranks second-worst out of 92 cities of similar size statewide for the number of victims involved in traffic collisions, according to 2013 rankings from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
The penalty for a red-light violation is one point on a driving record and a minimum fine of $380, according to the city's website.
The system uses a radar sensor to detect when a car is traveling too fast toward an intersection to stop at a red light, according to Sgt. Matthew Ortega, who supervises the city's red-light enforcement program.
Once the sensor is triggered, it activates cameras to snap photos that record the car's position in the intersection, the license plate and the driver's face. The cameras, when triggered, also record 12 seconds of live-streaming video, 6 seconds before and 6 seconds after a violation, according to Ms. Acker.
After the photos and videos are collected, they go to Redflex Traffic Systems, which has a contract with Menlo Park to install, maintain and operate the red-light cameras, according to Sgt. Ortega.
The city pays about $6,200 per month for the service, according to Hilory Brown, who enforces red light laws in Menlo Park.
In 2015, there were 4,356 citations issued in Menlo Park that were associated with the red-light cameras, she said.
The other intersections in Menlo Park that are monitored by red-light cameras are: Bayfront Expressway at Willow Road, two approaches at the El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue intersection, and El Camino Real and Valparaiso Avenue.
Redflex does the first round of filtering the captured images for the Menlo Park Police Department, Sgt. Ortega said. Then, trained police officers and staff go through the information Redflex sends them, verifying vehicle information and ensuring the vehicle was in violation.
For the red-light camera system at Chilco Street and Bayfront Expressway, there will be a 30-day grace period that ends at midnight on Jan. 7, 2017. Citations will begin getting sent by mail starting Jan. 8, according to the police department.
The city's transportation department and police department worked with Caltrans to get permission to install the cameras, according to Menlo Park city staff.