In 1998, Charlotte became the first city in the Southeast to put an electronic photo program into operation to reduce red light running. The city contracted with Lockheed Martin, which owns and operates the system and mails citations, collects fines, and schedules court appearances. In the first eight months Charlotte issued 17,000 citations at monitored intersections. This was six times more than the previous year. There was also a thirty-eight percent drop in the number of accidents caused by red light runners at these same intersections.