Commission moves forward with red-light cameras

 

Commission moves forward with red-light cameras

 

Date: October 18, 2010
by: Robin Hartill | Community Editor

 
 

The Sarasota City Commission approved an ordinance to allow red-light cameras within city limits on first reading. Drivers caught running red lights by cameras face a $158 fine. The cameras must comply with Florida Department of Transportation guidelines, which will be published later this year.

Also at its meeting, the commission:

Approved:
• A revised Community Redevelopment Agency policy adding the word “future” to existing language about Tax Increment Financing for Downtown and Newtown redevelopment areas.

• The 2010-11 Neighborhood Grant Program, giving 12 neighborhood associations a total of $32,445.26 for various projects.

• Revised guidelines for the State Housing Incentive Partnership program to eliminate new construction and limit assistance to the purchase and renovation of existing vacant homes.

• A motion authorizing the mayor and city auditor and clerk to execute the third extension of an agreement for plumbing, installation, maintenance and repair services between the city of Sarasota and Aqua Services Inc. for an additional six-month period.

• A quitclaim deed to the city of Sarasota for the Cocoanut Avenue right-of-way to clarify that portion of Lots 1, 2 and 3 of Block 32 as dedicated for use as a public right-of-way.

Adopted
• An ordinance allowing the Southwest Florida Water Management District to declare water shortages or water-shortage emergencies and to restrict water usage according to its Water Shortage Plan.

Directed to public hearing:
• Discussion of a major conditional use for 16 wet slips on Whitaker Bayou as an accessory use to a hotel to be constructed at 1701-1715 N. Tamiami Trail.

For more information, pick up the Oct. 21 edition of The Sarasota Observer.

Contact Robin Hartill at rhartill@yourobserver.com.
 

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Currently 3 Responses

  • 1.
  • Before embarking on any camera program, please consider the actual experience of towns which have implemented a strategy of extending yellow light times. Experience shows that drivers, when given a better opportunity to stop, will stop. In particular, the towns which have made it a policy of extending yellow light times beyond the mandated minimum times are California cities of Loma Linda, Glendale, and San Diego along with all towns with camera systems in the state of Georgia. (Georgia enacted a law in 2009 requiring an extra second to yellow lights at camera monitored approaches). Actual reductions in violations exceed any results achieved through enforcement. Cities which employ an extra second of yellow time report reductions in violations by 80%. Even an extension of a few tenths of a second will reduce instances of red light running.

    There is an irony that occurs once a city enters into a contract with a camera company. The expense to run a camera program is so high that violations must be kept at a high level in order to raise the revenue to pay the typically $6,000 per month fee for each monitored approach. Any potential safety measures which could be engineered will be ignored if those measures will mean a drop in revenue. Also, there will be much emphasis at placing cameras not at the most dangerous locations but at the best revenue producing locations. These are not necessarily the same locations. The economics are such that the touted safety benefits of cameras become secondary. Once again, violations must be high; the opposite of the intended result.
  •  
  • Roger Jones
    Sun 24th Oct 2010
    at 4:31am
  • 2.
  • The Cameras from hell haven't worked anywhere that they have been challenged in Florida or the rest of the country. Why do our oh so intelligent commisioners think they will work here? Just like the parking meters what a waste of taxpayers time and money. Figure out how to cut payrolls and expenses instead of ways of charging more taxes on the taxpayers of Sarsota... what a joke... and you wonder why these Tea Party is going to throw out the bums
  •  
  • Michael Costanzi
    Tue 19th Oct 2010
    at 3:20pm
  • 3.
  • Great. So now we'll have another violation of due process with the use of red light cameras. The cameras may be able to identify the vehicle but they can not identify the alleged perpetrator. So who do you ticket? And how will the courts decide exactly who is guilty?
  •  
  • Milan Adrian
    Mon 18th Oct 2010
    at 9:55pm
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