Florida city focuses cameras on red-light runners
American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has been given the green light to install red-light cameras in Lakeland, Fla. The Lakeland City Commission has approved a contract that permits ATS to install its ultrahigh-resolution digital cameras at designated intersections.
“ATS, right after January 1st of 2009, will start installing the cameras,” said Kevin Cook, who is director of communications for the city of Lakeland. Cook told GovPro.com that the city has been testing which Lakeland intersections are best-suited for the red-light units.
Plans call for permanent cameras to be installed at 10 Lakeland intersections.
“We are certainly hoping that this program will help improve traffic safety in Lakeland,” Cook told GovPro.com. “The goal of Lakeland’s photo-enforcement program is to reduce the number of violations, crashes and injuries caused by red-light runners.”
“American Traffic Solutions has a proven track record of improving traffic safety around Florida without any cost to taxpayers since the program is totally violator-funded. We look forward to improved public safety in Lakeland similar to the results red-light cameras have shown in other Florida communities.”
Red-light runners will face a $125 fine
On several occasions, the state legislature has declined to approve the use of red-light cameras by Sunshine State cities and counties. With that in mind, drafters of the Lakeland legislation specified that red-light violators will be charged with an infraction against a Lakeland city ordinance.
Motorists snapped running a red light will be assessed a fine – $125 for first-time offenders – for violating the city’s ordinance. However, drivers will not be assessed points on their state driver’s licenses, nor can their license be suspended for failing to pay a fine. City administrators will have the ability to place a lien on a motorist’s property for failure to pay a fine.
Lakeland is located midway between Tampa and Orlando along Interstate 4. Lakeland’s 2007 population estimate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was 92,796.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based ATS serves 125 communities with red-light and speed camera programs. Some of the Florida cities that use ATS’ systems include Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Miami Gardens, North Miami, Orange County, Palm Coast and Winter Springs.
The company also contracts with the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to provide ATS’ PlatePass cashless toll-payment services for rental car companies and their customers who use the Florida toll roads.