Watch MSNBC how Red Light Cameras in Pembroke Pines are not paying for themselves
UPDATE: Commissioner Michelle Gomez told me last night that these lights will be “Cost Neutral to the Residents” which means these will not cost the city one cent. This is good news because they are planning on approving these today and we will hold them to these 20 free lights at no cost to our residents.
Thank you Commissioner Gomez
When I walked into the Tamarac City Commission workshop today and saw the visitors all dressed up in suits, I thought to myself, “Someone is here to make money today.”
Sure enough, the Mayor and Commissioners heard a presentation from city staff members recommending awarding a three year contract to American Traffic Solutions or ATS at the commission meeting on Wednesday.
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 amount 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, the State of Florida and the residents of Tamarac 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.
Have an opinion about Red Light cameras? Unfortunately you only have less than 24 hours to contact your Mayor and City Commissioners before they vote on Wednesday evening.
Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk and Parkland Talk.
Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac.