By Sharon Aron Baron
When I walked into the Tamarac City Commission workshop today and saw the visitors from American Traffic Solutions, I should have been suspicious.
Sure enough, the Mayor and Commissioners heard a presentation from city staff members recommending awarding a three-year contract with them at the commission meeting.
No test sites needed, to test the waters. City staff wants us to take the plunge and buy 20 red light cameras with a three-year agreement costing $99,000 a month or $1,118,800 annually plus requiring BSO to hire or use two officers to review every ticket.
Did you know that there were 56 deaths in the entire state for running red lights in 2011? It’s a lot but certainly doesn’t justify the cost of cameras in our city.
ATS brought in a video presentation showing car after car at intersections getting t-boned or having a near miss, scaring the few that attended into believing that this was a common occurrence here.
Nowhere mentioned were statistics for the number of car crashes due to people running red lights in our city.
According to Buddy Nevins with BrowardBeat, “This is a major handout to special interests. In this case American Traffic Solutions and its ilk. This is a new, ridiculous high fee on drivers with money added in to enrich a private out-of-state corporation.”
This revenue-raising measure will make ATS richer because they get a share of every $158 ticket that’s paid. Not only will there be plenty of money for ATS, but the State of Florida and the residents of Tamarac also get a cut.
Oh, don’t go thinking you’re going to get some of this money too. Do you really believe if they make money this windfall will benefit the residents? This will give the city even more money to spend on staff recommendations, and more money to hire additional police officers.
The very people that should be deterring our red-light runners in the first place.