SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - They're baaack.
At Fourth and Harrison Streets in the South of Market district, San Francisco's first new red light camera is now up and watching... once again.
"All the time people run red lights to beat the traffic on the other end," said pedestrian Victoria Tanoury.
We saw drivers pushing it to get to the freeway on-ramp.
The city will be installing 12 additional red light cameras in areas plagued by high numbers of accidents.
They will be replacing older cameras that went offline at the end of last year when the contract with the camera provider was up.
"They did break down more. And that resulted in less citations over the past three years," said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.
Safety advocates say there should be at least 20 cameras which would be as many as before.
But the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says it isn't necessary to have cameras at all the places it once had them.
"We try other means before red light cameras. Shorter intersections, crosswalks installed. Updated traffic signals. If that's not working the way we want it to, then we look at red light cameras," said Rose.
The new cameras are digital and state of the art. The old ones shot film that had to be processed.
Red light runners caught on camera will get off with just a warning for the first 30 days of operation.
After that, it's a $500 fine.
The SFMTA believes the cameras have been a deterrent since the cameras first went up 23 years ago.
"Since 1996 we've seen a 66% decrease in injuries as a result of running. We've seen progress with these cameras," said Rose.
People crossing the streets by the new cameras say they are glad they are back.
"I have a lot of friends who ride bicycles too and they have been close to being hit as well. So I think it is important to think about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists," said pedestrian Katie Cornell.
The remaining 12 red light cameras are expected to be up and running by the end of the summer.