Back in 2010, the Commission voted unanimously to bring red light cameras to the City of Coral Springs, but after four years, the cameras have now quietly gone inactive.
Not only inactive, but all cameras have been removed.
Assistant City Manager Susan Grant told Coral Springs Talk that due to the pending legal challenges in the Fourth District Court of Appeals, the City will take a wait and see approach whether or not they will renew their contract with Xerox which was formerly named Redflex.
The Fourth District Court of Appeals said that a city is “not authorized to delegate police power by entering into a contract that allows a private vendor to screen data and decide whether a violation has occurred before sending that data to a traffic infraction enforcement officer to use as the basis for authorizing a citation.”
What this means, is that no City can use a red light ticket camera company’s personnel to process traffic tickets if they are not law enforcement officers – which is what many were doing, including American Traffic Solutions which is the vendor for Tamarac, Sunrise and Hollywood which is the City in Question.
The court went further and said: “Dismissal of the citation is the appropriate remedy where a private third party effectively decides whether a traffic violation has occurred and a citation should be issued.” Other Cities that have dropped their red light camera programs are: Margate, Hallandale and Boca Raton.
Hallandale Beach Commissioner Bill Julian was behind the push to get rid of the controversial cameras in his City.
“I thought it was a money grab from cities taking advantage of the taxpayers,” he told the Sun Sentinel.
Coral Springs City Staff and the Chief of Police at the time recommended the cameras because they believed they reduced accidents. Even former Mayor Roy Gold, was a proponent of them as well. Two years later, they had eight cameras around the City and according to the Sun Sentinel, the intersections were becoming safer. “The number of red-light violations is coming down,” said Chief Pustizzi. “At the University Drive-Ramblewood north-bound approach, there were only seven violations in February. If the numbers keep coming down, we may have to think about moving that camera around.”
But the cameras weren’t without their flaws, and back in 2013, Channel 7 News reported that the red light cameras positioned at Wiles Road and 441 in Coral Springs had been improperly calibrated with short yellow lights.
This particular intersection, raised eyebrows at one meeting when commissioners saw how many cars were being cited. They believed that the cameras were effective at actually stopping the red-light runners.
- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.
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