250 more red light camera zones on tap for Miami-Dade.
By Ashley Hopkins
More red light cameras are about to click in Miami-Dade, at installation cost of up to $25 million.
The Florida Legislature passed the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act this year, requiring cities, counties and the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to install the traffic cameras.
According to Robert Williams, a professional traffic operations engineer for the traffic signals and signs division of the Miami-Dade Public Works Department, an area the size of the county should warrant cameras at about 250 signal approaches in unincorporated locations, each costing $70,000 to $100,000.
In most cases a contract is struck with a system vendor, in which the vendor will absorb all associated costs. The county plans to take this approach, eliminating all up-front expenses, Mr. Williams said.
Violations caught on red light cameras would result in a $158 fine, as set by the state. If drivers don't pay promptly, Mr. Williams said, they may face added court costs and collection fees.
Of the $158, the county would retain $75, with $70 to the state general fund, $10 to trauma centers and $3 to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Miami-Dade would use its receipts to cover installation costs, Mr. Williams said. It doesn't yet know how much revenue could come from violations.
Commissioner Rebeca Sosa is pushing legislation urging the legislature to revisit red light camera legislation, prohibiting the enforcement of right turn laws. According to her resolution, in April 2010, 89% of traffic camera citations were right-hand turn violations.
According to Mr. Williams, if the resolution made its way to the state, the number of violations could be significantly reduced, although exact numbers aren't available.