The intersection of West Main Street and Jack Tone Road in Ripon appears to be an accident waiting to happen.
In particular, between the hours of 4 p.m. through 6 p.m. – peak hours for cut-through traffic for commuters trying to avoid the congestion along the Highway 120 Bypass and Highway 99.
At Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting, Police Chief Ed Ormonde provided a video of red-light violators traveling eastbound on that intersection where West Ripon Road becomes West Main Street.
Those numbers were alarming.
“At times, we were witnessing upwards of 20 red-light runners per hour,” Ormonde said, pointing out to Nov. 6 when the department assigned one patrol officer to that intersection during commute hours.
During 16 total weekdays during that same two-hour period, police made 84 traffic stops on Main / Jack Tone intersection. The result of that was 43 citations issued, including 30 red-light violations.
“While making visual observations and receiving feedback from officers, it was determined that stationing an officer at the intersection was not a long-term solution,” Ormonde said.
“Safety concerns for motorists and officers increased along with an increase in violation of higher volumes of traffic,” he added.
That’s when the department began searching for solutions for the long term.
Enter Redflex Traffic Systems.
According to Ormonde, 13 cities within Ripon’s geographic area uses this digital traffic enforcement system consisting of a red-light camera.
Redflex red light enforcement digital loops provide enforcement of red-light offenses, ranging in cost between $4,000 to $4,500 for a single system.
Council approved staff to continue pursuing the Redflex Traffic System and provide a firm cost for the January meeting.