By Margie Plunkett
Smile for the cameras when you drive through five busy intersections in Boca Raton that are targeted for installation of red light cameras. You might not be happy later: Get caught running a red light and you can count on getting a $158 ticket in the mail.
The cameras take multiple photos of vehicles going through the detection zone: as a vehicle approaches the red light, in the intersection and then of the license plate.
“There’s no confusion about who is running a red light,” said Assistant Chief of Police Edgar Morley.
The pictures of the violations are sent to the Police Department, where they’re reviewed and if confirmed, the vendor sends off a notice of violation.
The cumulative tickets could raise up to $800,000 in net revenue for the city, which won’t have any outlay for the equipment, Morley told commissioners at their Oct. 12 workshop.
The camera vendor does receive a fee for each “approach” where the cameras are mounted. There are typically four approaches at each intersection.
While the council members voted to install a system, a vendor must still be chosen. The system could go in as soon as 60 to 90 days after a vendor is selected. After the system is in place, drivers will have a 30-day warning period before the city starts issuing violations, Morley said.
The red light system is allowed by the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, enacted last July 1.
You might want to get your excuses in order. There are a few ways to get off the hook after being caught on camera. One is to show the traffic ticket you were already issued at the time of the violation by the officer waiting on the other side of the intersection. Others include if you were in a funeral procession or if you were waved through the light by a traffic officer.
Boca Raton is proposing red light cameras at five notoriously busy intersections:
Eastbound/Westbound Glades Road and NW 15 Avenue
Northbound St. Andrews and Yamato Road
Southbound St. Andrews and Glades Road
Eastbound Clint Moore Road and Military Trail
Eastbound/Westbound Glades Road and St. Andrews Boulevard
Who Shares the Fine?
How a $158 fine is distributed
$70 Fla./General Fund
$10 Fla./Dept. of Health Administrative Trust Fund
$3 Fla./Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund
SOURCE: City of Boca Raton