Wichita police Officer Brian Safris pulled his patrol car to the curb at Douglas and Topeka and focused his attention on the crosswalk at the east end of the intersection. "You see that white line?" he asked.
"That's like the line of scrimmage right there. That's what I'll be watching.... This is like a front row seat."
With Safris at the scene, the driver of any car that noses across the line after the light turns red risks being hit with a $145 ticket.
So far this year, no Wichita police officer has written more tickets than Safris, a 13-year veteran. Since 2005, no intersection has yielded more red-light tickets than Douglas and Topeka. It was only a matter of time before someone got caught.
On a typical day in Wichita, Municipal Court records show, police cite Wichita drivers for 287 traffic violations — including 81 for speeding, 12 for improper turns, 10 for inattentive driving, seven for red light violations and seven for running stop signs.
Those tickets generate about $12 million a year — $32,800 a day — in traffic fines. While many drivers see the tickets as a way for the city to raise money, police say traffic citations are important public safety tools that can change the behavior of drivers who flout traffic laws.
At any downtown light, Safris estimates, about 1 in 5 red light cycles will result in someone running the light. At Douglas and Topeka last week, it took six cycles before a woman in a silver Lexus crossed the scrimmage line after the light turned red. She accepted her ticket gracefully.
Read the complete story at kansas.com