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Columbus' Redflex Cameras 'Go Mobile'

Columbus' red light cameras are going mobile. The police division now has two new SUVs that are equipped with Redflex cameras to record speeding violations in school zones.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, at Woodcrest Elementary on East Livingston Avenue, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman warned motorists to obey the law when driving through school zones.

"With these two mobile speed enforcement vehicles, we will be issuing warnings to drivers telling them [to] slow down when going around school zones," Coleman said.

According to the city, the police department has issued more than 32,000 school-zone speed violations during restricted hours since 2004.

Now police will be using special vehicles fitted with Redflex cameras to catch drivers in school zones driving at speeds in excess of 20 miles per hour. The fine is $95, but if the driver is moving faster than 40 miles per hour the fine increases to $146.

Columbus Police Traffic Bureau Commander Tom Quinlan says identifying violators will be a similar process to the one the city uses to determine if a driver has run a red light at an intersection equipped with a Redflex camera.

"Those violations will be reviewed by the officer - witnessed by the officer - then they go to the vendor and then they come back to the officer to make a final determination on whether a citation is issued," Quinlan said.

Ever since Redflex cameras were installed at intersections, the company has gotten a certain percentage of each traffic fine. Quinlan says he does not know how much Redflex will make from each speeding violation through a school zone.

A 30 day grace period began December 14th. Tickets for violators will begin being issued January 13th.