Each week we will be asking the candidates the questions YOU'RE asking.
|Week 6||Seat 3 Candidates||Seat 4 Candidates|
|Doug Bankson||Alice Nolan||Sam Ruth|
|To answer this we must first ask the questions, "Do they make a difference, and what difference do they make?"
Statistically for Apopka the cameras have reduced the number of accidents according to the APD. That is hard to argue against, especially when lives are at stake. So from that standpoint, yes they make a difference, and the difference is positive when it comes to saving life and protecting property.
However, it is how and where they are utilized that answers the balance of the question. I think at key intersections where known problems exist there is justification, but in open intersections where views are uninhibited, I think it becomes over regulation.
The right turn on red has also posed problems and I believe the right turn on red should be eliminated. With the cameras in place it still allows for dispute resolutions but removes the necessity for regulating a "slow roll" vs. full stop decision for the officers who revue the incidents.
I would question intersections such as 441 and Errol Parkway, the 451 exchange, or Park and Martin subsequent to the aforementioned proof that they are needed. The APD has lengthened the yellow light to make it fair, but many have expressed their frustration at slamming on brakes for fear of running through the light and getting a ticket.
All being said, I don't think we need more, unless the standard of safety is proven, and I believe there are some that should be done away with.
|Red light cameras have been an issue in Florida since they have been installed. An issue is the yellow lights.
The yellow lights have been proven to not be long enough, in turn people are stuck in the middle of the intersection when the light turns red. Another issues is taking a right turn. Many citizens have received the $158.00 red light camera ticket when it doesn’t show they had stopped but it was off camera.
The statistics show that in many cities the red light cameras have caused more accidents. Many slam on their breaks as it turns yellow to make sure they do not go through the intersection to get the ticket.
We are paying police officers to sit in front of a screen in a room to look at video, after video writing tickets. This is not the best use of our officers. Our representatives are seeing the statistics and realizing this is not working.
A Florida Senate committee approved a bill last week along with partisan lines to outlaw the use of red light cameras. Overall red light cameras have not helped the community as much as we hoped it would.
|At the last budgeting workshop, I fought to remove or reduce the use of red light cameras here in Apopka.
Red-Light cameras in Apopka generates $1.7 million dollars, $1.3 million going to the state of Florida and the vendor with the hope of $400 thousand being returned to the city’s general fund.
Apopka has over 18 cameras at work, the city’s using cameras to reduce the number of serious accidents and discourage unsafe driving behavior. I questioned the cameras use for issue citations to drivers for right turn violations only. Most tickets are of this nature and that’s the rub, the city can’t afford cameras without ticketing that infraction.
I hope to again bring it back for review and would like to remove the right turn citation, I was unable to convince the council, the vote to remove or reduce and it failed 4 to 1. I have made suggestion that the 3 officers that review the cameras be put back on the streets doing traffic enforcement and replaced with some less costly personnel. I hope to bring it back before the council in this year budgeting process, communities across the country are pulling the plug on red-light cameras, amid mounting question over the controversial revenue-raising devices. I would only hope that the removal of $7,000 dollars per day of discretionary spending be spent here in Apopka and not in Tallahassee or Arizona-based company, now that steep decline in violations and a corresponding drop in revenues it might be a good time to reduce the program.
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