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[UPDATE] Tallahassee to Have More Red Light Cameras

By: Eyewitness News; TallahasseeVoices Email
By: Eyewitness News; TallahasseeVoices Email

UPDATE 6-8 at 11:15pm By Candace Sweat

Thanks to technology, and city officials, driving habits in Tallahassee may be monitored even more closely. It's a red hot topic that's causing a lot of debate.

More than 12,000 tickets have been issued in Tallahassee as a result of red light cameras. What may be a headache for the person finding that ticket in the mail is considered a success for Public Works officials.

Public Works Director Gabriel Menendez encourages anyone who gets behind the wheel in Tallahassee to take a look at the city's website.

"Go out to Talgov.com and look at the video clips we have on there. There are some pretty egregious video clips of red light running," said Menendez. (video can be seen below)

Commissioners voted unanimously to allow seven additional installments of red light cameras. But not without playing a little devil's advocate.

"There was at some point people talking about making right hand turns and they were getting tickets for what was otherwise being considered a legal right hand turn," said Commissioner Andrew Gillum.

"They talked about having police time now; dedicated officers to viewing these tapes. How are we paying for that?," said Commissioner Gil Ziffer.

The city is allowed to have 24 operating red light cameras per their contract with the vendor. It's a total they've yet to reach.

The city currently has 17 red light cameras at intersection like Tennessee and Monroe. And they're considering adding 7 additional red light cameras at intersections like Mahan and Capital Circle."

These are the intersections being considered for red light cameras:
- Tharpe Street and High Road
- Capital Circle Northeast and Mahan Drive
- Monroe Street and Allen Road
-Thomasville Road and Kerry Forest Parkway
- Apalachee Parkway and Blair Stone Road
- Tharpe and Old Bainbridge Road
- Capital Circle Northeast and Centerville Road

The intersections are not set in stone. So, officials say the best thing to do is stop on red whether you're being watched or not.

Public Works officials say the additional cameras should be up within the next four months.

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[UPDATE] 6-8-2011 6:45pm

Tuesday night, the City Commission heard facts about the red light cameras and whether they are making Tallahassee roads safer.

The findings show more than 70% said they are more likely to stop at red lights now that they know the cameras are there.

The first red light cameras were installed in Tallahassee almost one year ago. Now the city is evaluating whether they are helping the community.

The findings have the red light camera company, A.C.S., ready for expansion.

Michelle Bono is the Assistant to the City Manager. She said, "The most exciting part about this program is that people are paying attention. I think we have all changed how we drive... Yellow doesn't mean speed up and make it through a yellow, it means slow down."

The city of Tallahassee anticipates it will make $500,000 dollar this fiscal year. We talked to some drivers to see what they think of the cameras.

Two college students said, "Especially living over on campus, on Tennessee Street and College Street. I see a lot of accidents and kids just running through the red lights."

Michelle Forte-Osborne does not agree with the cameras. She said, "Whereas someone would not necessarily slam on their breaks through a yellow light, they may do so now because they are so conscientious of what may actually happen if they run the light."

Bono said, "Communities we have researched ... they've seen a reduction in accidents, over longer periods of time. So we believe that is what will happen here as well."

At Tuesday's meeting, the city gave a 'yay' seven more red light cameras.

Here are the potential locations:

- Tharpe Street and High Road
- Capital Circle Northeast and Mahan Drive
- Monroe Street and Allen Road
-Thomasville Road and Kerry Forest Parkway
- Apalachee Parkway and Blair Stone Road
- Tharpe and Old Bainbridge Road
- Capital Circle Northeast and Centerville Road

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[UPDATE] 6-8-2011 5:30pm

The City of Tallahassee Commission unanimously approves seven new red light cameras for Tallahassee.

If public works would like to add more red light cameras in the future, then they will have to request approval from the City Commission again.

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[UPDATE] 6-8 Noon -

The City of Tallahassee says its red light cameras are making roadways safer. That's according to a new report the city will be presenting at a meeting this afternoon.

Tonight, the city commission is likely to vote on installing even more red light cameras. They'll also hear statistics from a recent study.

The report shows since the City set up their red light camera program, there's been a 94% reduction in violations at key intersections.

According to a Tallahassee Voices survey, 26 % of people say the cameras are essential for preventing accidents and injuries. But the majority, 60 % say it's just a way for the city to make money.

Opponents of the cameras say people are slamming on brakes to avoid getting a ticket, and that's causing even more danger on the roads.

At the end of March, the city had issued more than 11,000 red light tickets.

The city commission will discuss installing more cameras at their 4 pm meeting.

We'll have updates tonight.

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Tallahassee, Florida - June 8, 2011 -

Stay with WCTV for more on this story later this evening.

The City of Tallahassee has been installing cameras at traffic lights to take pictures of vehicles that run red lights. Citizens speak out on how they feel about the cameras in a new TallahasseeVoices survey.

The City may vote on this issue tonight (June 8).

Some people say the red light cameras installed by the City of Tallahassee are essential for preventing accidents, injuries, and deaths to our citizens.

Some people say the red light cameras are just another method for City government to make money to support City programs & services, pay retirement benefits for City employees, pay for increases in the City budget that outstrip population growth, pay building costs and maintenance, vehicle purchases and maintenance, etc.

With which group do you agree?

26% Red light cameras are essential for preventing accidents, injuries, and deaths to our citizens.

60% Red light cameras are just another method for City government to support City programs & services, retirement benefits, etc.

14% Don’t know


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
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