Red Light Cameras Closer to a Lakeland Reality

Lakeland is getting closer to adding Red Light Cameras. The city hasn’t signed a contract, but all commissioners are in favor of the cameras, and have authorized a company, American Traffic Solutions, to install cameras at test locations. See this article from the Ledger’s Rick Rousos for more information.

Six intersections have been identified by the LPD as probable suspects: Memorial Boulevard at both North Florida Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Main Street at Ingraham Avenue, South Florida Avenue at Beacon Road, and near the Polk Parkway at both South Florida and Harden Boulevard. — The Ledger

Of course, I had to make a map. Look for some new information on Monday.

CommunityWalk Map – Lakeland Red Light Camera Locations

Full Size Lakeland Red Light Camera Locations

Here are our previous red light camera articles:

1) Series Introduction
2) Why Lakeland? Why Now?
3) The Dilemma Zone?
4) Update
5) City Green Lights Cameras

Creative Commons License photo credit: TheTruthAbout…

20 thoughts on “Red Light Cameras Closer to a Lakeland Reality

  1. One big issue with red light cameras is that they start out as safety devices, and then government officials quickly see them as a revenue stream. Read this article about cities caught shortening the yellow-light time on intersections with camera in order to increase revenue.

    My solution:

    Increase yellow light time, and increase red light time (i.e. the downtime between one light going red and the other one going green). You lose a bit of efficiency, but gain a whole lot of safety without spending a dime. Then, raise the fine.

  2. One big issue with red light cameras is that they start out as safety devices, and then government officials quickly see them as a revenue stream. Read this article about cities caught shortening the yellow-light time on intersections with camera in order to increase revenue.

    My solution:

    Increase yellow light time, and increase red light time (i.e. the downtime between one light going red and the other one going green). You lose a bit of efficiency, but gain a whole lot of safety without spending a dime. Then, raise the fine.

  3. Very good point. I wrote something similar in my last article. In addition, there are seven potential pitfalls with the project if the city isn’t careful. I suggest everyone interested in the cameras take a look at article number 5 above to see those pitfalls.

    If any other readers aren’t familiar with the cameras and the history of this project…make sure to read the articles listed above.

  4. Very good point. I wrote something similar in my last article. In addition, there are seven potential pitfalls with the project if the city isn’t careful. I suggest everyone interested in the cameras take a look at article number 5 above to see those pitfalls.

    If any other readers aren’t familiar with the cameras and the history of this project…make sure to read the articles listed above.

  5. There are a few things that really irritate me while driving and number one involves those that run red lights. The issue is plain and simple, if you don’t want a ticket, don’t run the red light. I just don’t understand those that oppose red light cameras. I was leaving work this week and nearly got taken out by a dark green Camary on South Florida Avenue. When I pulled up next to the driver and gave them the “stink eye” I got a shoulder shrug as a response. The fact is that red light running is quickly becoming a leading cause for traffic fatalities and I for one don’t want to become a statistic because some one didn’t adhere to existing traffic laws. Red light cameras are just another tool to make sure those that break the law are made accountable for their actions.

  6. There are a few things that really irritate me while driving and number one involves those that run red lights. The issue is plain and simple, if you don’t want a ticket, don’t run the red light. I just don’t understand those that oppose red light cameras. I was leaving work this week and nearly got taken out by a dark green Camary on South Florida Avenue. When I pulled up next to the driver and gave them the “stink eye” I got a shoulder shrug as a response. The fact is that red light running is quickly becoming a leading cause for traffic fatalities and I for one don’t want to become a statistic because some one didn’t adhere to existing traffic laws. Red light cameras are just another tool to make sure those that break the law are made accountable for their actions.

  7. Kevin – I think the issue with redlight cameras is as shown above. If you look at how they have worked in other cities, you’ll see that they change yellows from 8 seconds to 5, or from 5 to 3 seconds. When this happens, you get some people stuck in hard to turn left situations. A lot of people will go with the 5-second-long green arrow and then carry over into the red to finish their turns. I see this being a problem in intersections such as the MLK/Memorial intersection turning south off Memorial.

    By not adding more time to the green and making yellow shorter to add to the revenue stream, I think they will either add to congestion or CAUSE more accidents by people trying to rush them at green/yellow to beat the red.

    That all said, I agree that straight-run red light cams make sense as long as they are used as safety devices (With appropriate yellow times) and not simply as income streams.

  8. Kevin – I think the issue with redlight cameras is as shown above. If you look at how they have worked in other cities, you’ll see that they change yellows from 8 seconds to 5, or from 5 to 3 seconds. When this happens, you get some people stuck in hard to turn left situations. A lot of people will go with the 5-second-long green arrow and then carry over into the red to finish their turns. I see this being a problem in intersections such as the MLK/Memorial intersection turning south off Memorial.

    By not adding more time to the green and making yellow shorter to add to the revenue stream, I think they will either add to congestion or CAUSE more accidents by people trying to rush them at green/yellow to beat the red.

    That all said, I agree that straight-run red light cams make sense as long as they are used as safety devices (With appropriate yellow times) and not simply as income streams.

  9. I would say the goal of a red light camera is to reduce/eliminate the illegal running of red lights. The camera will catch those that break the law by snapping a photo/video of the automobile including a close up of the tag.

  10. I would say the goal of a red light camera is to reduce/eliminate the illegal running of red lights. The camera will catch those that break the law by snapping a photo/video of the automobile including a close up of the tag.

  11. These cameras are part to stop violations and part to raise money for the towns. You can get GPS type devices that tell you where they are located – they look into a database of cameras.

    GPS Angel – see http://www.gpsangel.com is one of these, and it gives you free databaes updates which is pretty nice.

  12. These cameras are part to stop violations and part to raise money for the towns. You can get GPS type devices that tell you where they are located – they look into a database of cameras.

    GPS Angel – see http://www.gpsangel.com is one of these, and it gives you free databaes updates which is pretty nice.

  13. We have had these same devices in my community (Palm Coast, FL) for several months now and they have been very controversial. We have a staff of 7 people, at last check, on the city payroll doing nothing but reviewing the images these cameras take to see if they are true violations or miss-fires.

    I endorse their goal of public safety but I think they fail too often to justify their use as implemented.

  14. We have had these same devices in my community (Palm Coast, FL) for several months now and they have been very controversial. We have a staff of 7 people, at last check, on the city payroll doing nothing but reviewing the images these cameras take to see if they are true violations or miss-fires.

    I endorse their goal of public safety but I think they fail too often to justify their use as implemented.

  15. Mike: I really don’t believe that Palm Coast has seven dedicated staff overseeing red light camera operations. The municipality may have seven that rotate thier duties. The Florida Turnpike and FDOT have been using them for years and the City of New York has had a red light camera program since 1993. There is an increasing list of cities that are installing them because of the growing number of drivers that ignore the law. Every morning that I take my kids to school I see a number of drivers violating simple traffic rules at the In-town Bypass – South Florida intersection and at the North Florida and Memorial Blvd intersection. I am sure that other commuters see the same thing day in and day out at other busy intersections. The cameras are just another tool to assist in catching violators and ultimately in saving lives by reducing traffic fatalities.

  16. Mike: I really don’t believe that Palm Coast has seven dedicated staff overseeing red light camera operations. The municipality may have seven that rotate thier duties. The Florida Turnpike and FDOT have been using them for years and the City of New York has had a red light camera program since 1993. There is an increasing list of cities that are installing them because of the growing number of drivers that ignore the law. Every morning that I take my kids to school I see a number of drivers violating simple traffic rules at the In-town Bypass – South Florida intersection and at the North Florida and Memorial Blvd intersection. I am sure that other commuters see the same thing day in and day out at other busy intersections. The cameras are just another tool to assist in catching violators and ultimately in saving lives by reducing traffic fatalities.

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