Over the past 18 months, city of Rochester employees havecommitted at least 119 red light violations while driving city vehicles, records show.
But while employees can be disciplined for the violation, “payment of the related fine will not be required,” according to a newly adopted city procedure for handling the violations.
One-third of the infractions were by police department vehicles, including one driven by Police Chief James Sheppard. These are not instances where squad cars are going through intersections with lights and sirens blaring. But Sheppard said most do involve emergency responses, and typically are rolling stops on right turns.
There also were violations by solid waste, building services, cemetery and library vehicles, according to data the Democrat and Chronicle obtained through an open records request.
“It’s definitely concerning that this many city vehicles are, in one way or another, in violation of the law around red lights,” said Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon. “This number is higher than any of us would have liked.”
Rochester launched its photo enforcement program in October 2010, and today hascameras at 29 intersections. Violators receive a $50 fine, which can escalate to $75 if not paid. Last week, the city warned vehicle owners with delinquent tickets that it planned to begin filing judgments come Monday and begin the collections process. The city issues about 9,000 violations per month.