PALM COAST, Fla. (Fox 35 WOFL) - After almost 10 years, the controversial red light cameras of the Palm Coast could be shut down as soon as Wednesday, April 5th, which is 6 months ahead of the contract 's expiration.
However, that's only if the city council votes to approve the proposal to get rid of the city's remaining 4 cameras.
People around town, like 82-year-old William Laird of Palm Coast, are waiting eagerly on the council’s decision
"I hope they pass it," Laird said. He believes that the "cameras should’ve been gone long ago." In fact, one of the cameras caught him recently, costing him a "nasty $158 ticket," he said with a chuckle.
And he’s not alone among the Palm Coast drivers to oppose the cameras.
Resident Pete Hansen told FOX 35's David Williams that he “can’t stand them. They’ve caused more havoc here in Palm Coast than anything ever has before.”
Even Palatka resident Derek Woods Jr. claimed that "They’re sensitive. All you’ve got to do is hit the line, and three weeks later, you’ve got a ticket in the mail.”
According to Palm Coast spokesperson, Cindi Lane, at the height of the red light program, there were 43 red light cameras at 27 intersections in the city. A city council vote on March 17, 2015 reduced the number of red light cameras to 5, but only 4 remain today.
Current locations of the cameras include:
- NB Old Kings Road N. at Kings Way
- NB Cypress Pt. Parkway at Cyprus Edge Drive
- NB Belle Terre Parkway at Rymfire Drive
- NB Belle Terre Parkway at Cypress Point Parkway
Lane went on to say that "the cameras have definitely been controversial. There are some residents who are opposed to them, and some residents that want to keep them.”
Votes to decide the fate of the cameras will take place on Tuesday, March 4th.
Right now, the city gets $350 per camera per month from American Traffic Solutions (ATS). The State of Florida gets $83 per ticket. But the purpose of the camera is definitely not about money.
"It was always done to try to reduce the number of people running red lights," Lane explained.
Thankfully though, the city does not expect camera removal to cost taxpayers a dime, as ATS is expected to provide the city with a plan outlining the schedule to remove the cameras. The cost of doing so will be covered by the next $16,000 in remaining red light camera revenue. Lane expects the city to break-even and has wording built into the agreement that says the city won't owe money if revenue doesn't reach $16,000.
So what happens if you get a ticket say on Tuesday?
Lane said you would have to pay it, and outstanding violations would still be processed until the tickets are paid or taken to court.