Manatee County Commission approves red light cameras
Two Manatee cameras will be activated Oct. 15 after a one-month warning period
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Sept. 11, 2012) – Manatee County Commissioners today unanimously approved an agreement that paves the way to improving safety along local roads by installing red light cameras at some of Manatee’s busiest intersections.
The Board approved the use of cameras in unincorporated areas in 2009, but installation and implementation of the cameras was postponed pending the outcome of state legislation and a contract agreement with a vendor to operate the cameras. State law now clearly allows the cameras and Manatee officials have reached an agreement with Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc., formerly ACS.
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.”
With today’s Commission approval, red light cameras at 53rd Avenue and 34th Street West and at 57th Avenue East and 15th Street East will begin operating Oct. 15, one month after a warning period begins to improving traffic behaviors. The fine for running a red light camera will be $158.
“The goal is to retrain people and get them to abide by the signals, get them to stop at red lights and stop running them for safety purposes,” said Deputy County Administrator Karen Windon who helped negotiate the agreement with Xerox. Windon is also former director of Manatee County Public Safety Department. “Warning notices will be posted and after that one-month warning period tickets will be issued.”
Local traffic and law enforcement officials will also evaluate the following intersections in coming months to determine whether there are safety concerns that could be helped by the 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
For more information on the agreement, see Item #17 from the Board’s Sept. 11 agenda package. For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.