Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Red Light Cameras Are a Go in 25 Places; Jacksonville Negotiating with Arizona Company to Install, Operate System

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Red Light Cameras Are a Go in 25 Places; Jacksonville Negotiating with Arizona Company to Install, Operate System

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony DeFeo

After years of legislative and judicial dawdling over them, red light cameras are poised to come to Jacksonville this year.

The city is in negotiations with Redflex Traffic Systems of Arizona to install and operate cameras on at least 25 approaches to intersections identified by police as dangerous.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith refused to comment on details such as exact cost or proposed camera locations until the negotiations are completed.

Smith did say that although citation payments will be made directly to Redflex, infractions will be controlled by the Sheriff's Office.

"Every ticket will be reviewed by a police officer," she said.

They can view three photos that include a close-up of the car's license plate and high-quality video.

Although there are no final numbers yet, the proposal Redflex submitted last year - chosen over three others - cited a monthly cost to the city of $3,999 per camera.

That fee would cover installation, operation, maintenance and administrative costs. Any citation money over the $3,999 would be split roughly in half between the city and the state.

Additionally, Redflex's proposal promises that if in any month the cameras fail to generate at least $3,999, the city would pay only the actual revenue received.

A number of California cities have dropped red-light cameras this year, many with Redflex, citing less-than-promised revenues. In Green Cove Springs, though, the only red-light cameras in Northeast Florida - with a different company - generated more than $350,000 for the city in their first nine months last year.

State law sets the minimum penalty at $158. Motorists can sign an affidavit claiming one of a few exemptions, such as if the vehicle was stolen or part of a funeral procession, or they may request a hearing before a local judge. There are no driver's license points.

The Redflex proposal also calls for a 30-day grace period after the cameras are installed. …

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