The Manatee County Board of Commissioners recently approved a trial period in which it will study red-light cameras and the safety and financial impacts of decreasing certain tickets issued through their use.
As a result, for a four-month period, certain traffic violations caught by these cameras will not be ticketed. These changes only apply to red-light camera ticket citations issued for right-hand turns drivers make without slowing to at least 12 mph before they turn. Drivers who commit this infraction may receive a warning letter from the sheriff’s office instead.
The changes do not apply to drivers who run red lights—they will still e ticketed.
Upon the summer, the county will then review the data gained from this study to determine the best path forward.
Why the testing?
The county decided to move forward with the testing period after instruction from top public safety officials about the red-light camera program.
The program and cameras have been active for approximately 10 years. Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells says there is evidence the cameras have reduced crashes and saved lives. However, about 30 percent of the infractions are thrown out for ticketing purposes, including many of the right-turn violations described above.
Every ticket means revenue for the county, so getting rid of right-turn violations could significantly cut that revenue. However, county board members argued the right turns are not as much of a safety concern, especially when the footage demonstrates there were no pedestrians or other vehicles in the area at the time the driver made the turn.
Other safety advocates urge the board to keep the citations in place, believing the current level of enforcement has done a lot to make the roadways safer.
No decisions will be made until the four-month study is complete in the spring.
For more information about using ticketing and infraction records as evidence in your personal injury claim, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.