County Adopts Red Light Cameras in Unincorporated Areas
Red light cameras at 53rd Avenue and 34th Street West and at 57th Avenue East and 15th Street East will begin operating Oct. 15.
Drivers beware, Manatee County Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement to bring red light cameras at some of Manatee’s busiest intersections.
Red light cameras at the intersections of 53rd Avenue and 34th Street West and at 57th Avenue East and 15th Street East will begin operating Oct. 15. Drivers will get a one month warning period before they will be fined for running a red light. The fine will be $158.
Manatee County Commissioners planned to implement red light cameras in 2009 but delayed the plan because they could prove too costly for the county after the state took a portion of the fines and the county had to pay for a deputy to review the tapes and signoff on the tickets. There was also some talk within the state of repealing the cameras.
State law clearly allows the cameras and Manatee officials have reached an agreement with Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc., formerly ACS. The county will pay the company a little over $5,500 a month per intersection to install and operate the cameras. In addition the county will give the sheriff's office more than $66,000 for deputies to monitor the videos and to approve the traffic tickets.
Melissa Wandall, whose husband Mark was killed in Manatee County by a red light runner in 2003, has championed red light cameras across the state and said statistics show that red light violations are reduced between 40 percent and 96 percent where the cameras have been installed.
“For me, this is a legacy of love,” Wandall told the Board. “I wanted my daughter not to be marked by tragedy but to know that when something happens in our lives, we can make a difference. Then healing occurs. It’s not about trying to take away anyone’s rights; it’s about ensuring loved ones come back to us at the end of the day.”
Deputy County Administrator Karen Windon, who helped negotiate the agreement with Xerox, said the goal is simply to get people to stop at red lights.
County officials said local traffic and law enforcement officials will also evaluate the following intersections in coming months to determine whether they will install red light cameras:
Cortez Road and U.S. 41
Cortez Road and 26th Street West
Cortez Road and 59th Street West
U.S. 41 and 53rd Avenue West
U.S. 41 and 57th Avenue West
S.R. 70 and Tara Boulevard
U.S. 301 and 60th Avenue East, near the Ellenton Premium Outlets