Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Drivers who want to appeal a ticket might have to pay up to $250 in additional fees if Gov. Rick Scott signs a new bill into law. Do you think that’s right?
Hate red light cameras? If so, you might hate them even more if Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill recently passed by the Florida Legislature into law. The bill sets a new process for appeals that enables local government bodies – cities and counties – to tack on an additional $250 in court fees for those who try to appeal tickets generated by red light cameras and fail. It also puts the new appeals process into the hands of those very same local governments that would benefit from the additional fees. That means motorists who appeal and lose will no longer be subject to just a $158 penalty – they might have to fork over $408. The new law, according to The Tampa Tribune, was designed to streamline the appeals process and put more control in the …
Saturday, March 2, 2013
"Better traffic light engineering produces greater safety than using red light cameras," the Executive Director of the National Motorists Association Foundation wrote in a letter to Gulfport City Councilors and Gulfport Patch Friday.
James C. Walker, Board Member and Executive Director of the National Motorists Association Foundation emailed the following letter to Gulfport City Council members and Gulfport Patch on Friday, March 1. "There is another mystery in Gulfport and other Florida cities that use the cameras. WHY do these city councils want to do SO much economic harm to their own cities? Most of the camera revenue goes to Tallahassee (52.5%) and Arizona (home to ATS and Redflex). Yes, some of this money comes back to the city councils to use, but WAY less than half the total take. Often as little as twenty or thirty percent is actual "profit" after paying the $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera expenses plus the costs for local police and courts to …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
American Traffic Solutions, which provides red light traffic cameras for Gulfport and 70 other Florida municipalities, says court rulings are on their side.
The Arizona company that provides red light traffic cameras for Gulfport and more than 70 municipalities around Florida is fighting back against recent attacks on the legality of the technology and its use to catch violators. In a news release sent Wednesday, American Traffic Solutions points out five court rulings that have upheld the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, which cleared the way for municipalities to use red light traffic cameras. The company notes a Sarasota County case, State v. Nathan, in which the court ruled red light cameras do not "automatically deem a driver guilty of an infraction based on the issuance of a citation" and that the driver "is provided notice of a hearing and an opportunity to be heard." “These rulings …
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
In a letter to Gulfport and five other cities, Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke says there are flaws in the system and that his office spends too much time dealing with the fallout from violators.
Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke is asking Gulfport and five other cities to stop writing tickets for red light violations, arguing there are flaws in the system and that his office is spending a disproportionate amount of time dealing with the fallout from violators. "These citizens are upset with the poor communication, insufficient information and resulting unfair penalties," Burke wrote in a letter dated Feb. 20 to city leaders in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Gulfport, Kenneth City, South Pasadena and Oldsmar. Burke said a significant number of red light violations are issued erroneously to the owner of a vehicle, not the driver. Further complicating the matter is the number of rental car companies that receive the notice of …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
As the Florida House of Representatives considers outlawing red light cameras around the state, here's what some Patch readers had to say on the subject.
Since we told you last week about a bill under consideration by the Florida House of Representatives that would strike down the use of red light cameras, Patch readers have had plenty to say on the topic. Our story, Red Light Cameras: Should They Stay or Go?, received more than 120 comments as of Tuesday night. Here's what one Gulfport Patch reader had to say: Greg Stemm: "When those damn things flash at me at night I am blinded for several seconds. To me that's far more dangerous than the few people who run red lights." Do you agree? Should red light cameras be banned in Florida? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below to continue the conversation.
Friday, February 15, 2013
The Florida House of Representatives is considering a bill that would repeal permission for these cameras to be used. We’d like to get your thoughts on the topic, Tampa Bay!
Pull up to a traffic light as it’s turning yellow and it’s likely the urge to gun it will be squelched by the knowledge that Big Brother is watching. After all, most Tampa Bay area counties and many cities have red light cameras installed at major intersections. Those cameras enable local governments and the state to keep an eye out for red light violators. They also provide a record of violations that allows costly tickets to be issued to motorists who run red lights. At $158 a pop, according to The Tampa Tribune, those tickets can add up fast. The state collected about $51 million last year alone thanks to red light cameras. The problem is that while law enforcement says the cameras are working to deter drivers from gunning it at lights…
Sunday, January 20, 2013
This week's top stories include a manhunt to find the suspect in the shooting death of Destynee Burkes of Gulfport and a second shooting of a man in St. Pete.
$50,000 Reward Offered in Double Murder: Sheriff Gualtieri said he believes Jamaal Jenkins is still in St. Petersburg/Pinellas County. Jenkins is considered a serious threat to public safety. Gulfport Woman's Death Linked to Love Triangle: Investigators have launched a manhunt to find the suspect in the shooting death of Destynee Burkes of Gulfport and a second shooting of a man in St. Pete. Jail Bookings Report: Jan. 7 - 13: The following people were arrested by Gulfport Police between January 7 - 13, 2013. The information is provided by the Gulfport Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Council Poised to End Beach Smoking Ban: In an effort to end a lawsuit filed against the City of Gulfport, council members voted …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Overall injury crashes have reduced by 53% since the Gulfport Police Department set up three red light cameras in 2010.
For nearly two years Intersection Safety Cameras, known as Red Light Cameras, have been snapping photos of red light runners in Gulfport. According police officials, they're helping decrease injury crashes in the city. During Tuesday night's city council meeting Gulfport Police Lt. Josh Stone presented an analysis of the program and data that shows injury crashes are down 53.3% from 2010. Traffic Crash Analysis Citywide Total Crashes Overall Total Crash Decrease of 18.4% "Although we went up 7 from last year, we've still seen overall total crashes decrease 18.4 percent," Lt. Josh Stone said during the presentation. Citywide Total Injury Crashes Overall Injury Crash Decrease of 53.3% "The goal was to decrease overall crashes . . . and …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Crashes are decreasing in Florida communities with red light cameras, according to a statewide report.
More than 400 intersections in Florida have red light cameras, including three in Gulfport. According to a new report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 56 percent of communities surveyed noticed a total reduction in crashes at intersections with red light cameras. The numbers: In total, 73 agencies responded to the survey and included information between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. "Agencies reported that in addition to the decrease in total crashes, traffic safety improved throughout the jurisdiction as drivers were more cautious when approaching all intersections," according to the Florida Red Light Camera Annual Report Survey - which is attached to this article. During the surveyed period these agencies…
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent says the red light cameras in Gulfport are working, with a decrease in crashes at intersections and a large number of tickets issued to violators.
Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent says the red light cameras are "doing their job." "In our case, the results are positive," the chief noted, citing data that was presented to the City Council Tuesday night. Vincent presented an analysis of the intersection safety cameras, with data from April through October. Judging by the numbers, the chief says the program is a success. Total Crashes Decrease of 26.3% Injury Crashes Decrease of 46.7% Vincent is extremely happy with these results, saying that safety is the top priority. "That was the big thing." Violations Vincent says more than 3,000 citations have been issued between March and October, with just 349 of those to registered vehicle owners living in Gulfport. Vincent also says that …