Fort Lauderdale commissioners are in the process of deciding whether to place red-light cameras at an additional eight intersections throughout the city in an effort to not only catch more drivers running red lights, but also to hopefully decrease the number of automobile accidents. In 2010, the city placed red-light cameras at six intersections, and since September, it has added eleven more. According to Commissioner Romney Rogers, the cameras seem to be “preventing intersection collisions” at most of the intersections equipped with the technology.
Commissioners were presented with a proposed list of intersections that the red-light cameras would be added to in May, but they refused to approve the entire list at that time because they were not sure of the cameras’ effects. Concerns have been raised about whether the cameras have a negative impact on tourism and if they are actually reducing the number of collisions.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently released a survey showing that the presence of red-light cameras actually decreased the number of rear-end and side-impact crashes at intersections. Contrary to these findings, Fort Lauderdale officials stated that the number of crashes at the original six intersections equipped with the cameras has doubled since their installation. Some commissioners are still convinced that the cameras promote safe driving and will likely vote to approve the eight additional red-light cameras. Although the additional cameras come at a hefty price of $1.6 million, the city estimates that its revenues as a result of citations that will be issued will surpass that expense.
Fort Lauderdale may add more red-light cameras, www.sun-sentinel.com January 21, 2013
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