Necessary? Or Evil?
How about both, says Boynton driver Melanie Day.
“Being someone who is actually gotten a ticket in the mail from this red light camera, I think they’re highly effective catching people running red lights - I just don’t like them,” she says.
Four months after they were turned back on in Boynton Beach, the debate over red light cameras still rages on.
The goal is to cut down on close calls and near misses at city intersections.
Commissioner Joe Casello says the results haven’t been what he expected.
“They’re not effective in the sense that they’re not doing what they were intended to do, to change the driving habits,” he says.
Casello points to the numbers since the program was restarted.
Numbers from September through December of 2017 show red light violations went up 47 percent from the same time period in 2016.
“The number of violations are up 47 percent. 47 percent, that’s an alarming number.”
Mayor Stephen Grant says the cameras are indeed effective.
“More people know that if they run a red light in Boynton Beach they’ll be caught and issued a ticket,” he says.
Grant attributes the increase to visitors from out of state not being aware of the cameras - and he expects the number to go down.
He says the most encouraging statistic - only about 10% of red light violators repeat
“That means it is effective and that people aren’t running red lights after they get one ticket,” he says.
Casello says he knows the cameras aren’t going anywhere for at least 4 years.
As long as they are here, he says he wants to see the $250,000 plus generated annually from the cameras put to good use.
“I would say that some of those monies be put through education, maybe through some signage, maybe we going to some of these high schools and promote road safety.”