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Without Evidence But Plenty of Cash, Palm Coast Approves 52 Spy Cameras, Up from 10

| August 22, 2012

Get used to them. Many more on the way. (© FlaglerLive)

It was another remarkable meeting of the Palm Coast City Council for how few critical questions council members asked about a matter impacting most residents, and how much the issue was either mischaracterized by the city’s own administration or how little the result rested on evidence. Yet in the end, the Palm Coast City Council approved having up to 52 red-light, spy-and-snap cameras at city intersections, up from the 10 that have been operating for the past several years.

Expect at least 36 of those cameras to be in place by year’s end, according to an official with American Traffic Solutions, the Tempe, Arizona-based private company that operates the cameras and pockets most of the money they generate, after the state has taken its cut.

It’s a money game. City Manager Jim Landon and some council members said the city would make very little money from the deal. That’s not true: the city would have made very little money had its stuck with the 10 cameras, or approved adding only a few. But the way it wrote the contract with ATS, the more cameras are installed, the more money the city makes, because the city is guaranteed $700 a month per camera. That means its revenue from the cameras by year’s end will be guaranteed to jump from a maximum of what would have been $7,000 a month (barely enough to cover the city’s costs) to $25,200, a substantial monthly revenue that, annualized, would yield the city just over $300,000. ATS is “studying” the installation of 16 more cameras, which the council also approved on Tuesday. Added to the mix, the city would then reap a $36,400 monthly windfall, or $437,000 a year.

Adding cameras is neither tied to crash data nor to need, but, at most, to a mix of perceptions that drivers are—in Mayor Jon Netts’s description—misbehaving, and of “push-pin” data that goes no further than the Palm Coast Fire department showing where its service calls are concentrated. Council member Frank Meeker asked specifically for the data that would support an expansion of the camera network.

“Do we have the data that matches up with all of the new locations justifying the need for these cameras? Have we seen that?” Meeker asked.

“Have we seen it? Council, no,” Netts said. “I have not. As you recall we asked staff to go back, consult with the sheriff’s department, fire department. To get their input, and this is the result of their input.”

But it was “anecdotal,” not evidence-based. Studies that combine traffic patterns and crash data and analysis and account for numerous variables to be reliably scientific, and therefore believable, are few and expensive: the city has no such studies. Indeed, the evidence on traffic cameras across the country is generally contradictory, making it easy to cherry-pick conclusions without seeing direct correlations between cameras and either improved safety or reduced crashes: Palm Coast’s own raw data of traffic incidents (which have not been analyzed beyond that point) at or near traffic intersections show incident declines at intersections with and without cameras, just as traffic citations have declined in the last several years. A correlation between cameras’ presence and reduced crashes would be tempting, but false. Landon conceded as much on Tuesday.

“The data correlation between the intersections itself and the data isn’t real good,” he said. “Our fire department did bring in an aerial that actually had a dot for every time they responded to a location, and what you’re seeing is many of those dots up there are where there were clusters.”

Landon then diverted the discussion to an unrelated matter: cameras allow law enforcement to determine whose fault an accident may have been, which has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with insurance claims or the assessment of fines and citations. “That’s the other part of the discussion,” Landon said.

Meeker wasn’t buying it. “I’m looking for the data that was used to come to this conclusion, and what I think you’re telling me you really don’t have it because the fire department’s data is computerized, it’s push-pins on a board.”

Council members had previously asked that the sheriff’s office generate more reliable crash data. That hasn’t been done. Landon said the fire department would generate such data, though Netts cautioned against both agencies ending up generating two sets of data. The fire department, of course, is neither equipped nor responsible for analyzing crash scenes and determining causes. Its paramedics treat patients at the scene and leave, leaving the rest of the work either to the sheriff’s office or to the Florida Highway Patrol. That was not talked about Tuesday. Another difficulty of generating cogent data: some crashes are investigated by the sheriff’s office, some crashes—and all of the more serious crashes—are investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol. Merging that data would require time and resources that neither side has. That, too, was not talked about Tuesday.

Despite those doubts, and despite acknowledging the “George Orwell” effect of the proliferation of cameras, Meeker joined Netts, Bill McGuire and Bill Lewis in approving the expansion. Only Jason DeLorenzo voted against.

The main attraction of the cameras for both the cash-strapped city and ATS is money. When the state approved a regulated system of spy-and-snap cameras, it ended a multiplicity of schemes such as Palm, Coast’s where cities were using cameras as cash cows, in part by circumventing state law. Palm Coast was cashing in on almost $1 million a year at the height of the scheme. When the state passed a law regulating the system, it allowed cities to continue the system, but it imposed uniform fines, regulations and restrictions. The fines would be set at $158. The state would automatically get $78 of that, leaving it to cities to figure out how they’d split the remaining cash between themselves and the companies running the cameras.

In Palm Coast, the city and ATS wrangled for months over a new contract, finally setting on terms that, at first, appeared to leave Palm Coast with pennies. The agreement’s limited revenue was deceiving, however, because it included a provision that gave ATS the right to increase the number of cameras indefinitely. That wasn’t just to increase ATS’s cash take, but Palm Coast’s, too, as the arrangement showed.

The way the contract is written, the city makes a flat $700 per month on each camera regardless, but ATS takes every penny that camera generates after that, up to $4,250 per camera. Should the camera generate more than that, then the additional revenue will go to the city. But for that to happen, a single camera would have to snap off  more than 66 times successfully—that is, nail a driver 66 times after errors or other issues are accounted for. Only two camera out of 10 locations have managed to exceed that number in the past two years, and even then, just barely: one got 71 citations, another got 70—not the sort of numbers that would increase the city’s take by much. The rest of the locations saw citations range between a low of three to 60. ATS, however, stands to gain the most from the new scheme, even as Palm Coast pockets a far larger share than it’s been getting with just 10 cameras.

Meanwhile, the courts are still wrestling with the legality of those schemes, and so far have split their verdicts, with some calling the schemes unconstitutional and others calling them legal. Ultimately, it’ll be up to the Florida Supreme Court to settle the issue, with potentially costly results for Palm Coast: should the schemes be found unconstitutional, not only would the city lose an immediate source of revenue, but it could, in a worst-case scenario, have to pay back drivers who’d been fined previously.

Few people addressed the council before its vote Tuesday. One resident, a long-time opponent of the cameras, said, referring to the cameras and Goldman Sachs, which backs ATS: “There are a couple of people that really do appreciate them. That’s the taxpayers in Cincinnati, where the holding company is where they collect your money, and the company in Tempe, Arizona, who collects the money. But the city of Palm Coast isn’t making money on these things. The city of Palm Coast is just pissing off a lot of people.”

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95 Responses for “Without Evidence But Plenty of Cash, Palm Coast Approves 52 Spy Cameras, Up from 10”

  1. Pete Sanchez says:

    City needs a big payday???

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell me, do the city plan on placing the photographic police stations in the Hammocks as well? That’s where they’ll get most of their money, cause a lot of us on this side don’t have it.

  2. sam8131 says:

    They should start putting cameras up to monitor handicapped parking areas.

  3. question says:

    All ‘I’m outraged’ issues should have as simple a solution:

    Don’t run red lights – - Problem Solved.

    They could put a camera on every corner. If you don’t run red lights, what do you care.

    • Samuel Smith says:

      No, it’s not solved. I’m headed to court in orange county because someone ran a red light with a tag that looked like mine, assuming you crossed your eyes and squinted. The company contracted issues a “citation” that says this won’t affect your insurance, it’s a civil infraction, pay up or go to court. They assume that you’ll pay instead of wasting a day at the courthouse to prove your innocence.

      Me, I’m going to court. When it’s done, I’m stopping by the clerk of courts and drop off a small claims case against the contracted company that sent me the ticket.

    • Nancy N. says:

      So it’s ok to have big brother watching me as long as I’m not doing anything bad? Umm, no thanks! I think I’ll keep my civil liberties and my privacy thank you.

      You obviously missed the semester of high school where they read 1984…

    • Xenith says:

      This is the utmost fallacious “I have nothing to hide” argument when It comes to privacy. There’s no merit behind this kind of flawed logic.

      At the very least, people who think the way you do are the catalysts for our civil erosion.

      It’s ok that google and the NSA aggregate your email and data mine them to develop profiles on you, too, right, because you have nothing to hide? You don’t do anything illegal, therefore you’re a bastion of what it means to be a good citizen and this somehow supports governmental spying?

      How about we put this in terms people like you can comprehend: Would you like the government coming in your house rustling through your junk drawer and personal documents that you’ve stored in your home? Think the concept is different? It isn’t, you’ve just been trained differently.

      Please stop being so naive.

  4. Timothy McInnes says:

    This should be the last straw! No evidence that these cameras do anything to reduce accidents. All it does is make more money for the city. I am afraid that this will make Palm Coast a non exit for travelers passing by. The city will be making the money and all the local businesses will suffer because the traffic flow will decrease. Read this article: http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/objections, and see why the “Red Light Cameras” don’t work!

  5. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Unbelievable. There is simply no credibility left to the city’s argument that they put these cameras in place for “safety”, hog wash. You cannot claim safety when you still have not taken any steps whatsoever to a) determine whether or not we even have a red light running problem in Palm Coast and b) if so, that these cameras would do anything to alleviate said problem. The city’s never done this, I surmise, because they know damn well if they did, the truth would get out that these cameras were installed for one reason and one reason only, revenue.
    I’m severely disappointed in Frank Meeker, normally the reliable voice of reason and common sense on the Council. He asked the right questions, but even though those questions went unanswered he still went along with this scheme. That is Unacceptable.

    • Bronx Guy says:

      Again this shows that whatever Jim Landon wants, he gets. The Council is nothing but a rubber stamp, except for Jason DeLorenzo who is listening to the people. Keep it up, Jason.

  6. Revfrank Currier says:

    it’s all for the cash!

  7. What we need are flashing warning lights to let us know when the light ahead is changing! Totally against these cameras and I don’t break the rules! I’ve almost wrecked twice from stopping and the person behind me has almost hit me from behind! This is not for our best interest or safety, but for the $$$ for more trees, flowers, and grass ! Who votes for major decisions like this? Not us!

  8. Revfrank Currier says:

    Traffic safety produced by sound engineering solutions, not by arbitrary measures (such as speed traps or red-light cameras) designed to generate profits!

  9. Craig Cavaliere says:

    If people weren’t in such a hurry, there won’t be a problem. Have you noticed that the person you pass catches up with you more times than not at the light? Driving 5-10 MPH over the limit on Belle Terre or Palm Coast Pkwy is going to save you a minute or two. Is it worth it?

    • Xenith says:

      This is not a valid argument in favor of red-light cameras. They don’t work, furthermore they actually generate problems with rear-ending because of the fear it causes with people hard-braking on yellow. Why are they afraid? – because the fines are ridiculous cash-grabs and for someone short on cash like myself this means the difference between a tank of gas to get to school, or dinner for my wife and I.

      http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/objections

      There is no valid reason to install more cameras, and the ones that are already installed should be dismantled and removed immediately. Sadly this will never happen because the corruption and crony-capitalism begins at the top. Follow the money trail, as they say.

      Do the rest of us citizens a favor, though, ok, and stop putting “faith” in your local authority to do whats in your best interest. That’s silly, and counter-productive.

  10. Jerry Peters says:

    Time to replace PC officials. They are full of greed.

  11. “The city of Palm Coast is just pissing off a lot of people.”

    I think this about sums it up perfectly.

  12. Eileen G. Miller says:

    Still can’t get lights on Seminole Woods or spray for Mosquitos

  13. Lori Cooke-Young says:

    52 red light cameras? Seriously? We have kids walking to school in the dark after daylight savings time ends and being hit by cars and red light cameras are more important than making sure our children can get to school without being run over?! Time to pack my kids up and get the hell out of dodge.

  14. The Truth says:

    NEWSFLASH:

    These camera’s won’t make anyone any money if people stopped running red lights. Interesting concept, isn’t it?

    • Xenith says:

      That’s not true. It’s not about the city making money – at all –
      The city, nor the state (which takes most of the cut) – are really generating anything on any of these cameras past the first few months of installation. THIS is why they must install new ones, because the one’s they’ve already installed are known targets of avoidance for people, yet they don’t quell the existence of accidents. Beyond that, it’s about whoever is authorizing this – i wold bet – being in bed with the company who installs these. The people making the money here is the contract to the company installing, monitoring, managing, and maintain these cameras. I wish we could follow the money trail to see who’s getting paid off under the table.

      Red light cameras are a burden to a municipality.

  15. PJ says:

    $8568.00

    That is the number you wil pay to the city if you run every red light.

    Ok I don’t recommend it but it can happen.

    Landon you are the worst city manager and the council you control are nothing but a bunch of snooks because of you.

    Meeker you have not been voted to the county seat yet but with a vote like this one I’m not sure if I can really consider you.

    You all are making the quality of life here in Palm Coast slowly getting bad and pathetic………..

  16. JoJo says:

    I already avoid the Palm Coast like the plague. This has just given me another reason to avoid it!

  17. Ben Blakely says:

    I have a SIMPLE SOLUTION!

    Don’t shop in Palm Coast! Steer clear of Palm Coast! The sleeze ball PC politicians are creating a TRAP to make Palm Coast a hell hole to drive through.

    STAY AWAY FROM Palm Coast !!! Shop elsewhere!

  18. Billybob says:

    So let’s ask the obvious…What happens if you refuse to pay?

    City resident (in the city limits)
    County resident (not in the city limits)
    State resident
    Out of state resident

    Does anyone know?

    I understand these are not considered driving offenses but rather civil fines (hmm…interesting) therefore they cannot put points on your license. So what if we “just say no” to the traffic cameras if we receive a notice someday?

    I say this not because I want to run red lights, but because I believe the city council is voting this through primarily to make money off of Palm Coast residents (sounds more like a tax…) not because it reflects what the city residents actually want. Boycotting the fines would be a form of protest to try to get through to them, since they are apparently not listening.

    • Nancy N. says:

      If you ignore your fine for 30 days, it turns into a UTC, a “uniform traffic citation” – a “real” traffic ticket – that can be appealed through the courts. That’s the court appeal process that was built into the law authorizing red light cameras.

      Failure to pay a UTC fine will get your license suspended. If you continue to drive on that license, and get pulled over, you will get arrested.

      I don’t recommend not paying your red light camera fines. Unless you feel like doing prison time for the cause of protesting the red light cameras.

  19. Kip Durocher says:

    go palm coast ~ and the best is yet to come. taxes will surpass
    ny and nj before all is done!

  20. this is bullshit it is not legal and people r putting up with it

  21. Dennis Hahn says:

    Hate palm coast can’t wait to leave here.so greedy.

  22. Howard Duley says:

    People get all upset and then at the next election vote for the same jerk they are angry with. The next election just vote John Nutts out of office. Looks like we should throw out the present police chief also.

  23. w.ryan says:

    It never ends. If the city’s concern was about safety then the signal change times would be slowed down to a second or two longer to allow for human error. Traffic signals wasn’t invented by Garrett Morgan to catch red light runners. The intent was for safety purposes. Red light infractions are because of misjudgement and poor choices. Not willful intent. To simply say to people “Stop running red lights” is just ridiculous! The city is committing a fraudulent act upon its citizens. The City has demonstrated its concern for Corporations by taking money from its citizens and giving it to a business and another municipality outside our domain. If it’s about money then this scheme is still illegal because it’s predicated on falsehoods. They lock con artists up for telling lies. Elected officials should know better. The constitutional issue is that a camera represents the agent of the state or municipality, a non person. Regardless of what alleged facts a camera catches this evidence cannot be a corroborated witness to the offense such as an actual agent of the municipality sworn to the Constitution. Unsafe lane changes cause accidents too. What next? DeLorenzo was the only practical thinker among the Councilmen in this one! The fleecing has to stop!

  24. Lou Reis says:

    Lori you’re 100 percent correct. They should fix the drainage system first. And sidewalks so we could walk safely in the main streets.

  25. Doug R. says:

    If I were a business thinking about relocating I would look at Palm Cost and think what a nice small town. Fairly new, people seemed to be educated and pleasant, good infrastructure.

    I would say “Wait a minute!! What are all these cameras about? I have never seen this many cams in such a small town.
    How annoying. I don’t think my people would want to put up with this, What other town do we have to look at on our list? “

    • Xenith says:

      I think the average person today is now prooperly indoctrinated into beliving that:

      cameras = safety.

      I’m not sure your scenario would hold much weight, in other words.
      I don’t have much hope here, there’s probably way more people who deeply believe that these are good measures and the city is “Doing something in the best interest to protect them.”

      • Ben Dover says:

        Then they too are the sheep being led to the slaughter house , mindless twits that just go along with the government rigging cameras and then flooding the city with them to make money off the very people that voted for them, These type of ignorant people are just as guilty as the thieves installing the camera`s, wake up and smell the scam for Christs sake , look at whats going on around you , camera by camera they are taking your civil liberties away from you, next cameras will be in dressing rooms , ( hey if you don t steal you have nothing to worry about) then in our homes , its an infridement on our right to privacy, you realize you could be illegally convicted of a crime just because you drove a similar car and drove the same rte as a murderer or bank robber , these camera`s are flawed , and in this case they are rigged in the cities favor to push you into running that light gees how can people be so blind!!!

  26. Maryjoe says:

    I don’t understand how Meeker can ask all the right questions, have the right objections and then vote yes anyway… what is the sense in that?
    I’m liking Jason more and more although I think Charlie Erickson would have done the same thing. At least we get Charlie on the County.
    We all know it’s for the money and for no other reason.

  27. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    Wait until they start putting them over stop signs. Sooner or later it’s coming some how some way.

  28. Lonewolf says:

    This is terrific…I mean that. I feel safer know that people will not be running red lights. Two major studies show that people quickly modified their behavior when it comes to red light running.

    For all those people who think the city is “greedy” or this is just a cash cow… there’s one obvious way to not pay a dime..

    • Ben Dover says:

      Yeah lone wolf , but your paying thousands more in gas a year sitting at every single light , because the ones that have cannera`s now are set up that way , when you get stuck at the one on Palm Coast Parkway by Victoria plaza , and you do the speed limit , you get stuck at the one by the post office , then the one at steak n shake , then the first by 95 then you might get by the second at 95 but you will be stuck at old kings and they are long lights, I think the one at old kings is like a 4 minute light , do you have any idea what stop and go and idling at a light means to your gas tank , it eats up more gas then if you drove on the highway to Ormond beach , and if you have to make that trip back through that gauntlet, you`ve wasted quite a bit of time and fuel , if they put them on virtually everylight in town and rig them like this , the fuel waste will be astronomical, I`ve lived here for 26 yrs and never saw a problem with red light runners , I do see a lot of near rear end wrecks now with people jamming their brakes on at the last minute ,because they are afraid of that 158 dollar fine , they don t even know who`s driving the car and responsible , they are ticketing your license plate, the lights are rigged like that so you get fed up and try and beat the next one , its a trap and criminal if you ask me , I would never ever pay one should I get it , I might go to court and shove it where it belongs though

  29. Ben Blakely says:

    This is Palm Coast Government employing nazi tactics spying on its citizens. Fifty two cameras in a tiny little town? And it is done on the basis of a lie and the false notion that cameras create ‘safety.’

    And mind you, this is just the beginning of big government intrusion and spying on YOU.

    What’s next? Spy cams in bathrooms to catch people who don’t wash their hands?

    This is a growing tumor and cancer in Palm Coast created by the greedy UNETHICAL politicians.

  30. Gia says:

    Great, fantastic, marvelous idea. It’s about time.

  31. wsh302@msn.com says:

    here is another solution, find out who on the city council voted yes on the cameras and than next time vote no on them soon very soon i am out of here and into the country

  32. question says:

    Once again, there is a MIRACLE cure for the stop sign camera:

    STOP at them.

  33. tulip says:

    @ PJ if you don’t run red lights, you get to drive for free.

    @ NancyN If you don’t want your” privacy invaded” by a camera, stay out of stores, banks, parking lots,etc., those show your body and face. The traffic cameras only show the back of the car and tag.

    People disobey laws, so deterrents or discipline have to be put in place, just like parents do with their kids, and their teenagers complain and groan about the rules just like a lot of adults do

    Most cities in Florida have traffic cameras and more are getting them. This state is not the only state in the country that has them..

    • Nancy N. says:

      There is a HUGE difference between traffic cams and security cameras in stores. The GOVERNMENT owns the traffic cams and they are on public property. Therefore they don’t need a warrant or any explanation to use the footage from it in any way that they see fit. It’s a lot different from a security camera owned by a private company on private property.

  34. question says:

    P.S. re “SPY’” cameras

    In their VERY best James Bond-ness…what is the most exciting ‘intrigue’ that could be mined…in ANY part of Palm Coast FL ?

    “in town” it might actually provide a beneficial extra set of eyes for accidents or say during our recent BoA holdup.

    Cameras sure helped us evaluate the terrible Publix incident.

  35. Sal Passalaqua says:

    waste of money…we are just supporting the camera company……giving the money away

  36. JL says:

    Well, one or two redlights at bad intersections, I’ll give you. But 52 more cameras on top of 10? This isn’t Miami, it’s little Palm Coast! I agree with the other statements that all these cameras will make people NOT want to visit PC. That’s too many! And we all know it’s purely for monetary reasons, not safety. Look at all of the deadly accidents this area has had this past year. Were they a result of people running red lights? No! Can we seriously start looking at productive ways to make our town safer, and bring tourists in to visit? This counsil is not helping our town at all.

  37. JL says:

    I have to add, I wish we could go back to the days when ITT ran this place. It was a nicer place to live and raise children. And people were coming to the area and staying. What a mistake it was to vote for this place to become a city. What did it get us? A huge municipal complex we can’t afford, more crime, no jobs, empty homes.

  38. I'm glad I left PC says:

    Hey people of Palm Coast look at it as a fair tax, if you blow a red light you pay, if you don’t you don’t pay. Plus people who don’t pay taxes like the welfare dirt bags, renters, and such have to pay Its there contribution to the system. Cameras bring awareness!!! run the light you will get caught. That is what a red light means STOP!!!!!! its the law. What is so hard about that? Plus the revenue generated is going back into road improvements!!! I am sure you all like your new paved roads into your neighborhood right? and its not coming out of YOUR property tax bill is it?? And if one LIFE can be saved by prevention its worth it. Anyone out there lose a loved due to some asshole blowing a red light? think about it because you never know when it will happen!!!! A lot of PAIN!!!!

    • Nancy N. says:

      Why is it assumed that if you are opposed to the cameras that you must be a red light runner? I’m a very safe driver who has never gotten a ticket from the camera (or from anything else related to my driving in the past 20 years).

      So should I just consider it a “tax” when I get rear-ended because I break for the yellow because of the cameras and the guy behind me doesn’t?

      There’s no proof that the cameras have improved safety. Even the council admitted that in their discussions about adding the new cameras! This is, as you stated about the road paving, all about revenue. And I don’t feel like giving up my civil liberties to pave a few roads. Tack a few bucks onto my property tax bill and we’ll call it even. Thanks.

  39. Yellowstone says:

    Let’s face it . . . Palm Coast is getting to be a very scary place.

    if are paying attention there are cameras everywhere watching your every move. Reason? Look around you!

    There are questionable people next to you. Look at that person in the pharamacy stuffing things in their purse. Watch those cars whizzing through the four-way stops. That guy next to you at the traffic light; coffee in one hand cellphone in the other. And there are those with their own cameras talking shots of those doing ‘extreme’ acts. The extreme acts alone are a problem. (Try doing just the speed limit on I-95)

    Irresponsible? Yes. But we all have to live with it.

    No, folks, you aren’t living in your father’s 60s anymore . . .

  40. blondee says:

    More cameras? Glad to hear it; I wish we had the money to put them on EVERY corner! If people didn’t drive like such idiots in this town, there wouldn’t be the need to have any. I see more people blowing through red lights and rolling stops than I could even count.

    As far as referring to them as “spy cams”, sorry but anything you do out in public is not private and you’re therefore not the victim of spying. sheesh!

  41. Tired says:

    I’m very disappointed to hear this. I was in favor of the red-light cameras for I believed it was about changing peoples driving habits for the safety on our streets. This blatently proves what Mr. Landons motives really are. Absolutely no data to support their decisions. Really? That’s amazing, there was a staff person that tracked every intersection accident into a GIS database. Oh, that’s right, Mr. Landon eliminated that position so he can play his games instead of make good sound decisions based on facts. So Meeker votes in favor of this and yet he still won the primary to get a nice paycheck from the county to represent us there. Funny, this kindof reminds me of the Hunger Games……

  42. Dadgum says:

    So, why are we paying the Flagler Sheriffs Office to patrol Palm Coast? Don’t we pay for 4 or 5 Deputies per shift? It seems the Sheriif is top heavy and there are fewer deputies for road patrol. I never see deputies pulling cars over for speeding. Is it hands off until the election is over then pound us again after the election.
    With all these cameras who needs deputies. Refund our money.

  43. rrr says:

    Isn’t it the law not to run red lights.. For reasons that may save lives, aren’t ready to do that??? Stop complaining and obey the law..

  44. Hooey Looey says:

    http://www.areavibes.com/palm+coast-fl/crime/

    Maybe now they can work on out huge crime gap. We have more crime here than the national average……yea….at least we are good at something.

  45. Clint says:

    NAZI tactics….Control the population by what ever means. Camera’s on every corner, Drones in the air.
    Economy in the tank, Food shortages due by fall. Homeless children living in the woods, Jobless residents unable to pay their mortgages. Speak your mind and be censored by the Political Correct Squad…..Yep, is such a pleasure to live and exist in this town. Heil Palm Coast !!

  46. question says:

    Hey, Glenn Beck must have one of his homes here!

  47. rickg says:

    We’re getting closer and closer to making the 4th Amendment moot. If it isn’t money its telling people they are under attack. I have been driving for 45 years and I have seen a total of 5 people run a red light. On the other hand i have seen hundreds driving less than the speed limit in the left hand lane which does cause many more traffic accidents.

  48. rickg says:

    We’re getting closer and closer to making the 4th Amendment moot. If it isn’t money its telling people they are under attack. I have been driving for 45 years and I have seen a total of 5 people run a red light. On the other hand i have seen hundreds of people driving much slower than the speed limit on the Interstate. A much more dangerous situation.

  49. Dadgum says:

    @ ITT
    It’s between the cameras they’ll speed and not a deputy in sight. Forgot, they’re hanging out parked in areas to save gas. Big show first day of school then gone back to same hangouts.

  50. PJ says:

    @tulip- you don’t get it do you?

    It is all about mismanagement, money and power.

    Sounds famliar?

    The cameras would be fine but as I’ve said before if landon and the misfits on the council were interested in PUBLIC SAFETY they would add the sensor that holds the yellow light longer until the intersection is clear.

    No not these fools they Palm Coast I mean here it is all about the money. The city manager is so desperate to find money he will make us all pay one way or the other.

    The $700 the city gets per light plus fees is all he really cares about. There may be a hint of public safety if there were ike several at the dangerous intersections but 50 cameras is not about public safety it’s about the money.

    It won’t stop there because landon figured out how he can raise money again and again just by doing poor business practices like this as in the beloved red light cameras and waste pro contract.

    So next time you have something to say to someone on this comment board be prepared to hear what you don’t want to hear……………………………the truth………………………

  51. PJ says:

    @Xenith says- you don’t get it either and please see the above post @tulip.

    Also your writting style is very enjoyable to read……………………….

  52. w.ryan says:

    Safety=longer all stops! Money and safety doesn’t mix when greed is added to the equation. History tells us this. Perceptions and judgement are faulty! When all of you supporters of the red light cameras can see what a fallacy you speak you will realize that people aren’t running red lights for fun. They run them because of errors in judgement. Perception! Reaction! You’ll also realize that these cameras also cause a lot of accidents. We are not robots and if life was so exact as you want the law to be, we’ll all be in jail some time in our lives over and over again. Longer all stops is the solution if it truly is about safety.

  53. Magicone says:

    Next thing coming in the skies above you will be unmanned drones. Those are what we need to stop all the crime in Palm Coast. Daytona police chief Chitwood is getting ready to use them, but it won’t happen in P.C. because they can’t bring in any money.

  54. no longer living in palm coast says:

    the one and only way to stop the use of these cameras is to not run red lights. if we all do our part, they will come down before you know it.

  55. Cameras SUX says:

    I did a study on the camera intersection(s) and the non-camera intersection(s) in palm coast. 10 cycles of the yellow light at each intersection with the camera, then got a yellow light average. It showed that the intersections with the cameras, the yellow light was a full 1 to 1.75 seconds SHORTER.

    Now, that is only done for ONE reason, to generate more $$. Other studies have shown, that if you increase the yellow light cycle, by just one second, it stops up to 80% of the red-light running, and IMPROVES SAFETY at the intersection. These cameras were put up to generate revenue, and was sold to the citizens to “improve safety”. Well, the chicken has come home to roost, they are finally admitting that it is just about the revenue.

    If they want to generate $400,000 extra per year, charge each property just $10 extra tax, call it a “safety tax” and use it for sidewalks, additional lightning, and the like. DO NOT penalize the citizens who drive (and most likely have jobs) to get these funds, especially on a false pretense by shortening the yellow light cycle. I would GLADLY pay an additional $10 per year for safety.

    OR, raise the city sales tax by 1/2 a penny and everyone would pay when they buy something, even tourists, it would certainly not PISS OFF the residents as much as these cameras do!

  56. Flagler Beach says:

    I don’t have a problem with the red light camera if it was just taking pictures of those running red lights, I bet the majority of the tickets are for those making a right hand turn. Most people I have seen getting tickets are coasting throuht the red light. At no time did they run it, but did not come to a complete stop at the corner. Just a money maker

  57. Deep South says:

    Once again everyone is all riled up about the latest actions of what the city is doin, and you hear comments about the elected officials need to go. Well when only 5 % of y’all turn out to vote it sounds like your bark is way bigger than your bite. Hey folks nothin goin happen until y’all show more interest in the city elections, and get out and vote. That dog just doesn’t hunt .

  58. Chris says:

    I drive a delivery truck in palm coast and the biggest problem is the drivers who are so afraid to get a ticket they pay no regard to the big truck that is behind them and slam on their brakes at the first sign of a yellow light. In the past six months I’ve locked my brakes up numerous times and had there been someone beside me I would have seriously injured someone and all because the city wants to make a few bucks and claim its for safety when in all actuality it’s creating dangerous situations!!!!

  59. GB24Hours says:

    I live in Volusia County, but I was relieved to see that my friend Jason DeLorenzo was a dissenting vote on this issue.

    Studies have shown that the BEST method to prevent accidents due to red-light running is to INCREASE the length of the YELLOW light. This gives drivers a chance to properly assess whether they are in the “go” zone or the “stop” zone.

    Companies like ATS, however, recommend setting the yellow light times at camera-equipped intersections to the SHORTEST time span allowed by Federal Law. This creates a good sized, zone sandwhiched BETWEEN the go zone and the stop zone where neither option is correct: There is not enough space to come to a safe and controlled stop, yet a driver is still too far from the light to make it completely through before the light changes to red.

    This creates the revenue that ATS promises municipalities that use their “service”, and also gives the illusion that the cameras were desperately needed at the location as evidenced by the number of fines it imposes.

    Not so easy to just “don’t run red lights” anymore, is it folks?

    • w.ryan says:

      Longer Yellow is fine. So was Jason DeLorenzo’s dissent. Coupled with the yellow a longer all stop is the cure to prevent accidents. Preparing to stop is still a judgement issue by the driver. Simply stall everyone to make sure there are no collisions. That is thinking about safety!

  60. Ray Thorne says:

    To me this is no different than surveillance cameras in a store. How many of you go to Walmart? Strong possibility you’re shopping habits are being observed. Want to move? I see cameras everywhere I drive. They’re all along I-95 and at many intersections in other towns. They may not all be red light cameras but they are there. When a satellite camera can zoom close enough to earth to read a postcard on the ground the red light camera argument of big brother watching is years late. Is it a money maker? Sure because we all know people run lights. I think it’s less big brother and more small city discovering possible cash cow.

  61. parentof1 says:

    Really? That is why they pay police to pull people over that are not following the law this is just another reason for the police to sit around and not do anything or pull people over for petty stuff. I am so sick of this county doing pointless things why dont they put more street lights up for the ones having to walk at night or put more side walks in for people and childrean to be able to walk on. Open new parks or fitness centers. Do something other than worrying about stuff that other should be worried about like POLICE. Police pi** me off in this county half of them are so out of shape that if they had to run they would give up. UGHHH.

  62. Lonewolf says:

    If you object to red light cams please read the USA Today article:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-01-redlight01_ST_N.htm

    You will probably change your mind if it’s just a little open

  63. I'm glad I left PC says:

    Hey Nancy N if the guy who hits you from behind is going to hit you any way regardless of a camera or not! right? He is not paying attention that is their fault!!!! not yours, defensive driving at its best. You don’t have to pay but we all do if you have seen your insurance bills lately and I don’t think they are going down.

    • Nancy N. says:

      No, that guy isn’t necessarily going to hit me if I don’t have to stop unsafely for the yellow light because I’m afraid to get a ticket I can’t afford. The cameras force me as a driver to take a risk that the guy behind me isn’t going to stop, or take the ticket.

  64. Ben Dover says:

    Lonewolf read my lips Fifty two!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. Reality Check says:

    This is a simple thing for Government, while I like the system of cameras at the busy intersections, putting them at every corner leads me to the same old Government motto

    “This is greed over need” we do not need this many intersections monitored, it is the we do not know how to monitor the budget so what we will do is subsidize our income in another way. The City council has become a circus with the City Manager the ring master, I hate to say this but they all need to be replaced by younger business professionals who will not be afraid to make the tough decisions. Every meeting I attend is the same thing “well gee I don’t know about that” maybe we should hire a consultant, or maybe we should monitor that. Get off your politically lazy asses and fix the problems all by yourself. We do not need consultants, are you saying you and the City staff are incompetent to figure it out? If so, you should be removed from office and staff should be terminated and replaced. Politics today has become do not offend anyone, BS it is time to stop the spending and start the fixing.

  66. Anonymous says:

    So should I just consider it a “tax” when I get rear-ended because I break for the yellow because of the cameras and the guy behind me doesn’t?

    Why would some blame the City or others for the acts of of the driver who does not follow safe driving practice and the laws of the road. if you get or are the one who rear ends another its their/your fault for not being a safe driver.

    • Nancy N. says:

      The cameras take away my ability to drive defensively! I can’t look in my rear view mirror, know some guy is coming fast and close behind me and that there is a good chance that he won’t stop in time if I do, and decide to proceed through the yellow to be safe, without paying a stiff fine for doing that to avoid the accident. I’m forced to either take the ticket that I can’t afford to ensure my safety, or take the risk that the guy is going to hit me.

  67. question says:

    Wow…81 comments on red light camera ‘intrusion’…
    the same ‘get government out of my life’ folks

    who say OK for male politicians to mandate transvaginal ultrasound probes
    & telling women no abortions, no exceptions. What misogynist phonies!

  68. Jeff H. says:

    Another political move to make money off of the public that supports the city and the state. Why don’t they see the freaking obvious ways to save some money to help things? I noticed on more than one occasion lately city sprinklers on at night and odd times. (while it is raining, and has rained every single day for the past two and half weeks. Is there not an off switch somewhere?) or (How about this new stretch of side walk going down Bell Terre south of Hwy100 going to US1 South.) I’m positive there are alot of peolpe that are glad to see it so they can walk their dogs and ride their bikes. I wonder if they would like to see the bill for the about One and half foot wide flower bed or whatever you want to call it that barely has enough room for the planted crape myrtles that they chose to plant the whole way. I bet that bill was up there for all that mulch and trees, and it looks stupid. I understand Palm Coast’s stand on beautifying but this is a prime example poor planning or poor management or both. No wonder the taxes are as high as they are with the blatant disregard of how some of the money is spent. No different than big government I suppose, Good Job keep up the Good Work.

  69. John Boy says:

    The Arizona company that installs and monitors the camera devices is owned by Goldman Sachs, Goldman has been involved in numerous illegal, unethical activities but always escapes with civil penalties while never admitting any wrong doing. My money is on some political hack in the city getting very rich from under the table payments from Goldman. To find out who simply keep your eyes on who buys a new house, car, boat, takes exotic vacations, etc.

  70. pamala zill says:

    Interestin comment. Regardng the timing of yellow lights. A good place to begin for outraged citizens to petition..

  71. JOHN R. says:

    As the city is guaranteed $700.00 per camera, there will probably be 100-200 cameras around the city before they finish this raid on us.. It is too bad the pols gave themselves an extra year on their terms before we can retire them. At least Jason DeLorenzo is listening to the people.

  72. DP says:

    It goes to show you that, you too can be a council member, you don’t even have to think or have a brain! It’s apparent that all they won’t is the money oh wait the camera company makes more than the city, what rocket scientist 59 cameras? Come on! Where’s their heads?????

    • ann says:

      They are not punishing people who run red lights, they are punishing people who run YELLOW lights, and last I check running a yellow light was NOT illegal! What they are doing is shortening the yellow lights so they can make more money on these! I had a ticket when I “ran the red light ” by .4 seconds! It had just barely turned yellow when I went through it and because i was not speeding, it turned read before I got across the line. this is a scam and everyone needs to know about it!

  73. Bob St.Clair says:

    This is clearly about money, there are not enough accidents related to red light infractions to warrant tthe amount of rex light cameras being installed, crooked politicians taking the easy way out to put money in the coffers. Sickening.

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