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Red-Light Camera Fines May Go Up to $408 and Be Harder to Fight Under Newest Rules

| May 4, 2013

For Palm Coast and ATS, red-light cameras are cash cows, and may become more so under new rules. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

For Palm Coast and ATS, red-light cameras are cash cows, and may become more so under new rules. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

A provision in Florida law that would have significantly scaled back the power and means of local governments like Palm Coast to issue red-light camera violations was replaced this week with provisions that do the reverse.

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A bill that cleared the House and Senate in the final days of the legislative session vastly increases the power of local governments to issue red-light camera violations. It discourages people accused of running red lights from challenging their ticket by increasing their fine 158 to $406 should they contest and lose. It eliminates the independent court magistrate who presides over hearings, replacing that magistrate with an appointee of the local government using the cameras, such as a code enforcement board or its designee. And anyone who doesn’t pay a ticket after being found guilty will have his or her next car registration renewal suspended until the penalty is paid.

The bill in one regard helps drivers by reducing the likelihood that prudent right-turn-on-red are cited, even when the driver has crossed the white line before stopping or slowing down. But that’s the only provision that lowers drivers’ risks of getting ticketed. All others raise those risks while making appeals more difficult.

The new provisions severely weaken the 2010 Mark Wandall Act that legalized and codified the use of red-light cameras, creating rules that somewhat limited the cameras’ use as lucrative revenue sources to local governments. Several of the new rules dilute or eliminate those rules.

The new provisions are part of a 226-page omnibus transportation bill (HB7125)  that includes numerous other provisions unrelated to red-light cameras. They were slipped into the bill on the next-to-last day of the legislative session, without a single hearing in committee (only the bill in its original form was heard in committee). The bill cleared the House on Thursday in a 114-1 vote. It is awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.

The red-light camera provisions’ major shifts represent a severe blow to consumer interests and protection. Conversely, the shifts will help local governments that have spy cameras, such as Palm Coast, further increase their revenue from the scheme, since the totality of the supplemental fine portion—allowable as “administrative” costs—will go exclusively to the local government assessing them, giving local governments an incentive to do just that.

The shifts are an indication of the lobbying power in Tallahassee of private companies that run red-light cameras, at great profit, such as American Traffic Solutions. Phoenix, Arizona-based ATS is the main provider of such cameras, including the 50-some cameras operating in Palm Coast.

Two years ago, the Florida Sun-Sentinel that ATS had spent $1.5 million in lobbying and contributions to political campaign, and that the company “as many as 17 registered lobbyists in Tallahassee and nearly two dozen more in South Florida cities and counties, with one reporting in a disclosure form last year that the company paid him $400 an hour.”

ATS’s lobbying arms went to work several weeks ago not only to weaken the Mark Wandall Act, whose rules considerably eroded ATS and other red-light camera companies’ ability to profit from the cameras, but to defeat a proposed bill that would have further strengthened the Wandall Act in drivers’ favor, and at red-light companies’ expense.

Two months ago Rep. Frank Artiles, the Miami Republican, introduced a bill in the Florida Legislature that would have prohibited  issuing tickets  by red-light cameras for all right-on-red turns, regardless of speed. It would have required violation notices to be sent by certified mail, not regular mail. (Currently, the certified-mail requirement kicks in only when payment has not been made within 30 days). It would have allowed alleged violators to request a hearing within 30 days, at no additional cost. It would have placed the burden of proof of a violation on cities or companies operating traffic cameras and required them to have representatives present at hearings, rather than just provide an affidavit. And it would have required all yellow-light intervals at intersections rigged with spy cameras to be synchronized according to Florida Department of Transportation standards.

The Economic Affairs Committee approved the bill 12-4. Then the bill went nowhere. By session’s end Friday, the bill was dead.


Meanwhile, quietly but persistently, amendments to the larger transportation bill were written in as if directly by red-light camera companies’ lobby desks, although the more than 70 local governments that have such cameras in Florida were also behind the effort.

The key changes, should Scott enact them into law with his signature, are as follows:

Individuals who would like to contest a ticket will no longer appear before an independent magistrate. They will instead appear before a hearing officer chosen by the local government that contracts for red-light cameras.

That’s how Palm Coast used to do it before July 2010—before the Mark Wandall Act went into effect—when Palm Coast’s and ATS’s use of the cameras may not have been legal. (ATS’s use was challenged in court; ATS settled, and has been paying drivers back. Palm Coast is still fighting, and has joined Casselberry in an amicus brief before the Florida Supreme Court in a case that may go before the court later this year.)

Before July 2010, Palm Coast appointed its own hearing officer (who happened to be Sid Nowell) to rule over contested tickets. The Mark Wandall Act eliminated that allowance to also eliminate real or perceived conflicts of interest: if, as in palm Coast’s case, the city was running the red-light camera scheme, it would be in the city’s interest to ensure that as many tickets were paid—not to excuse tickets. By moving the hearing process to an independent hearing officer contracted by the state, the conflict of interest was eliminated. (That hearing officer, currently, is Judge Charles Cino, who once a month conducts hearings red-light camera hearings at the Flagler County Courthouse.)

Previously, an individual had 30 days to request a hearing to dispute a ticket and avoid court fees. The individual now has 60 days, but should the individual in the meantime cancel the hearing appearance, an additional $50 fee will be added to the $158 ticket, with that $50 going to the local jurisdiction. That added penalty may discourage individuals from challenging their ticket in the first place, thus raising the probability that the ticket will be paid—or that the $158 fine will be lost to the local government if successfully contested.

The hearing may be conducted before the code enforcement board or an agent of the code enforcement—or anyone the city or local government designates. “Formal rules of evidence do not apply” at those hearings, the new law states, “but due process shall be observed and govern the proceedings.” If an individual contesting a ticket loses, the hearing officer may impose the additional fee of up to $250, raising the total cost of the ticket to $408. No such additional fee was allowable under the original Mark Wandall Act. The entirety of the additional $250 would go to the local government imposing it—another incentive for that government to ensure that tickets are penalized rather than disallowed.

Under current rules, a local government “must notify the public that a traffic infraction device may be in use at that intersection, including specific notification of enforcement of violations concerning right turns.” That provision has survived.

Palm Coast currently has 43 cameras generating flashes and traffic tickets. By contract with ATS, Palm Coast is paid $700 per month per camera, regardless of the number of citations issued or paid. At the current level, Palm Coast is making $30,100 a month from the cameras, or $361,000 a year.

The cameras are just as profitable for ATS.

Every camera flash does not translate into a ticket issued. In fact, about 90 percent of the time, the flash does not result in a ticket. In the first week of April, for example, more than 4,100 flashes resulted in just 416 actual tickets.

Despite that ratio, and assuming every one of the ticket is paid, that’s a $65,728 return. ATS must pay the state $83 per ticket. That lowers the take to $31,200. ATS must also pay Palm Coast’s weekly share, which comes out to just under $7,000 a week. That still leaves ATS with $24,200—in just one week, or over $1.23 million a year.

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81 Responses for “Red-Light Camera Fines May Go Up to $408 and Be Harder to Fight Under Newest Rules”

  1. Joe says:

    Highway Robbery, I wish I could afford to move out of this scammy town!!!

    • pete says:

      ME TOO

    • Joe says:

      This article is very informative and loaded with numbers to give us a clear picture of how much money is at stake here. It is a shame that there are more red light cameras out there than there are law enforcement officers and pretty soon this town will be empty and the only thing left will be the pick up trucks with the AZ plates on them trying to tweak the cameras some more. It is a shame that Palm Coast has truly turned into a selfish and miserable place to live, take down the cameras and lay some lit up sidewalks around this town so we can reduce the amount of bicycle accidents.

  2. Anon says:

    What happened banning the red light cameras?

    Usually when an argument is made and it uses the protection of one’s constitutional rights as its base then it is home free. It worked for those who are against background checks for gun owners and a ban on high capacity magazines.

    Why didn’t the violation of constitutional rights work here?

    It must be that the Traffic Camera lobby bought off the entire bunch.

  3. in palm coast says:

    If an individual contesting a ticket loses, the hearing officer may impose the additional fee of up to $250, raising the total cost of the ticket to $408. The entirety of the additional $250 would go to the local government imposing it—another incentive for that government to ensure that tickets are penalized rather than disallowed.
    Are they for real? With that provision in the hew law, NOONE will win if they contest their ticket.

  4. Ron says:

    Can’t wait to read the comments on this article…..

  5. Leo says:

    A few cameras here and there I think was ok, but so many I think is wrong. in the long run people will get tired of it. visitors will stop coming. lets face it, as carefull as you might be you are bound (setup) to get one, I haven’t got any yet but its a matter of time and eventually i’ll just get fed-up and move from palm coast. they need to spend money on things that attract people, not turn them away….

    • curious says:

      Back to the original question…… Is this being used as a money making opportunity or is it truly for “safety”??? As if they could make it any more clear, now they are just rubbing it in our face!!

  6. AceDeadEyeJohnson says:

    So if the contester wins sould the city pay out $1000.00…..I think so

  7. E. C. H. says:

    Now we could have Code Enforcement putting the squeeze on people for traffic violations too? Can you imagine Barbara Grossman and Michael Esposito shaking people down before they come before Chairman Mugford who’s been told by Debra and Reischmann before the meeting not to listen to their case?

    Wait, didn’t that just happen to me last Wednesday? Why yes it did as a matter of fact. They put it in writing and admitted it under oath. lol! :-)

    Debra, the attorney working for the board that day, agreed that an ex parte agreement had been made between the attorneys, the city, and Norman Mugford (the Board) not to allow our case to be heard before the meeting began on May 1. I asked Debra if she was aware of the letter Reischmann had sent me and she said she was. Reischmann had sent me a letter informing me of it several weeks prior. Michael Barr, a local real estate consultant had called me before that to inform me that he had “speaking to people in the city” and we should have know better than to go public and we were going to suffer for it in so many words.

    After I reminded Mugford and Debra we had just recorded evidence of their ex parte agreement, and his refusal to hear our case, what did he do? He about blew a fuse! He threatened to have me removed from the building if I spoke when I wasn’t spoken to. I’ve got to hand it to the Deputy who was in the room though. His facial expression and body language sure looked like he wanted no part of it at all. All I saw was a truly humble man concerned by what he was hearing.

    Anyone can listen to the May 1 Code Enforcement Board meeting any time by clicking the website attached to this message. Scroll down to Code Enforcement Board section and picking which format to listen to the May 1 meeting. We were first on the docket for the day. It’s short and it’s a riot.

    I put a piece of paper in front of Debra, the attorney, proving we had not been notified of the Feb. 6, 2013 meeting in time (8 days late) and she tried to claim we had received another letter. When she asked Bill Wry, he said there was no letter sent. I also showed the attorney and the board Florida Statute 162.12 which requires 30 days for all certified letters to be signed as received before they can move forward with a code violation meeting before the Code Enforcement Board. She stammered around and chose to deflect with, “I can’t help it if you don’t open your mail,” and gave Mugford the cue to press one.

    If anyone feels like the city took advantage of them in the last five years, city attorney Reischmann’s office has been representing both the city and the Code Enforcement Board. It’s a conflict of interest. His partner in the law firm, Debra, and himself have been getting paid to represent both sides for quite some time now. It looks like they have been doing this for multiple cities and counties as well. You may have the right to have your case re-examined by a Judge and Jury and thrown out. You may be entitled to punitive damages and restoration. Every case in which they represented both parties is a conflict of interest an there could be hundreds, if not thoussands, by now.

    If anyone feels like the city ran them over like a Mack truck within the last five years, call me. The city and the attorneys may have been using the Code Enforcement process and Board to rake in tons of money at the public’s expense. The system looks like it is stacked for maximum power and control for the city and the attorney’s instead of the public interest. And it certainly looks like Mugford has been playing right along. It’s time to get to the bottom of it all. If you feel like you have been abused by the city, call (386) 597-1181. Don’t let them intimidate you. Don’t let them get away with it.

  8. rickg says:

    Red light cameras are nothing but a means by which municipalities and counties can write business. They do nothing to prevent any kind of hazardous driving like changing lanes unnecessarily or going 35 mph in a 45 zone and in the left lane. We are truly “one nation under surveillance”.

  9. Annoyed says:

    These red light cameras are ridiculous! It’s just a big money scam. I think it is more dangerous having the driver in front of you slam their brakes on and skid to avoid running a yellow light (which I have seen happen on a daily basis) than to have these stupid cameras anyway. They create more nervousness and anxiety than anything. I doubt they even do any good. All Palm Coast sees is $ signs.

  10. just a thought says:

    Wow. So much for your day in court. This bill discourages you to use the legal system. Never heard of being penalized for attempting to invoke our inalienable right to innocent until proven guilty.

  11. Ron2 says:

    So, if someone residing out of State gets a summons and doesn’t pay, how will the City enforce payment whether they attend a hearing or not?

    Flagler Live states: “…And anyone who doesn’t pay a ticket after being found guilty will have his or her next car registration renewal suspended until the penalty is paid….”

    Certain States have reciprocity with reciprocal States and if a State doesn’t there is little Palm Coast or Florida, for that matter, can do. A Red Light infraction is a civil summons and not criminal. For example, if you received a speeding summons in Virginia a few years ago and neglected to pay the summons it would behoove you not to get stopped in Virginia again because you are going straight to jail on a warrant for your neglectfulness.

    Under the freedom of information Act, how many Red Light Civil Citations go unanswered for out-of-State vehicles? Are rental companies obligated to report names and addresses of out of State vehicles to the City and if so what is the percentage that pay?

    I guess what I’m getting at is if there are a disproportionate amount of Palm Coasters that are paying these civil fines isn’t that unfair and prejudicial because we are being subjected to these civil fines while others can abscond because they either don’t live in Palm Coast or Florida?

    The Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. I find these summonses arbitrary and capricious because these cameras are directed to certain people in limited Florida Counties which are more susceptible and likely to be hoodwinked because we drive more frequently in Palm Coast. How many drivers have received more than one or two of these civil citations?

  12. Linda says:

    So if you choose to exercise your constitutional right of due process to be heard, and you lose, you get punished with a higher fine. Yup – that would be Palm Coast.
    Moving as soon as possible.

  13. Renee says:

    My 17 year old daughter just got one…it was pouring out and the light was turning red and she was afraid she would hydroplane if she tried to stop so she went through and got flashed!!! She is so upset and scared to drive now……what happend to Palm Coast???? This is NOT the place I moved to 23 yrs ago…its almost as if they are watching all of us with all these camera’s!!!!

    • Alfred E. Newman says:

      Yeah, and if she asks for a court appearance and loses, they fine her again!
      We have to be afraid to contest a ticket!?

      This is the land of low wages – tickets over $400.00 are unfair and crippling to the typical Palm Coaster.

      I wouldn’t mind the cameras if they were really there for the purposes of law enforcement.
      The cameras exist to generate dollars for the city’s coffers and American Traffic Solutions, in Phoenix.

      In Palm Coast, the government pees on your back, and then tells you it’s raining.

  14. Nancy N. says:

    It’s extortion and corruption, plain and simple. Once again, the Florida legislature proves that they can be bought and sold. They should be walking around with t-shirts on that say “Paid for by ATS”.

  15. Robert says:

    Red light cameras may prevent reckless driving, or anyone thinking of performing an action that may ultimately cause injury or death to another because of their own bad judgment at a traffic light. They don’t prevent “wreck less” driving. There will still be crashes. Is there any proof since red light cameras went up there was a decline in crashes? How exactly is the revenue divided up and how is it used to better the city?

    Though I think this is helping our local economy by the city profiting, we have to ask ourselves how valuable is privacy? Is it in our best interest to give up freedom for security?

  16. fla native says:

    What’s this? I thought they were coming down. I wouldn’t pay one of the damn things if hell froze over. Read the ticket closely. It’s not even a state law or issued by the state. “A sucker is born every minute.”-P.T. Barnum

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Read the effin’ article. It is a state law now!

      • FlaglerLive says:

        Norton, it’ll become a state law on July 1 should the governor sign it.

        • Nancy N. says:

          fla native, if you fail to pay the fine under current state law it’s my understanding that the ticket transforms into a UTA and you can be subject to arrest or at least license suspension.

  17. ATTENTION says:

    There is a new bumper sticker that is floating around, that once I find I will gladly put on my vehicle. The sticker states: “ATTENTION: I ALWAYS BRAKE AT YELLOW LIGHTS, BUT ONLY IN PALM COAST”. I cannot wait to find it, I’m sure there will be a lot of suporters for this sticker. Anyone know where they sell them?

  18. ATTENTION says:

    GLAD I RECENTLY RELOCATED OUT OF FLAGLER COUNTY, BIG BROTHER IS GETTING TOO BIG I THINK….

  19. aloysious farquart says:

    The red light camera “controversies” reveal what a great number of adults remain child-like. They don’t want to do it right, and they protest consequences for doing it wrong.

    Lives are at stake when you get behind the wheel. If you want to believe and transport yourself as if you are infallible, ride a bike and take your chances of being killed by your peers.

    “The first thing we must recognize is that crashes are not accidents.”
    -Ricardo Martinez, M.D., NHTSA Administrator, 1997

    • NortonSmitty says:

      “The first thing we must recognize is that crashes are not accidents.” -Ricardo Martinez, M.D., NHTSA Administrator, 1997. Huh? I know very few crashes that were planned, and if they are not accidents what in hell are they? All crimes of negligence? What? Did he define what they are or was he just reading bureaucratese his lobbyist from the Insurance Industry wrote?

      I find it hilarious when right-wing Law’nOrder dittoheads will quote the shit-spouting head of the NHTSA (Nanny Hoping To Subdue Americans), Bill Clintons at that, when it suits them.

      AF, The first thing we must recognize is just how freaking corrupt our esteemed Representatives in Tallahassee are. When they listened to the people they supposedly represent vent their outrage at this RoboRipoff and actually passed a bill to limit the greed of the well-connected nationwide slime that is infecting the country

      • NortonSmitty says:

        …that is ATS, no one was more shocked than me. Florida politicians actually listening to the people over a big, nationwide corporation? WTF? Sorry, they didn’t pass a bill, but proposed one. In this land where the Big Elephant rules, even this faint whiff of populism stood out like Kunta Kinte at a Merle Haggard concert. And our shock lasted what, two months until the no good whores went back to the Tallahassee Macks, and not only withdrew the reforms but gave their Lobbypimps a nice reach-around by increasing the fines to show them how sorry they were for straying. And hope they forget before the next fundraiser. It makes me want to vomit. But watcha’ gonna’ do, vote for some libr’l commie?

        The second thing we must recognize is how powerless we actually are. We just had this rubbed into all our faces who counts in this sorry state. When the greed of a Colorado corporation trumps your outraged citizens. When common sense reforms to a scam milking us like we were Holsteins goes down in flames thanks to your representatives that know the will face no repercussions from the voters as long as they have enough money behind them. The system is broken folks, and if this small episode doesn’t convince you, just what will?

      • aloysious farquart says:

        The vast majority of crashes are the consequence of willful negligence, so they are not “accidental”.

        If you drive like “everyone else”, you’re doing it wrong.

        The change from “I got my license!” to “All the rules are stacked against me!” can only be measured by factors of the speed of light.

  20. markingthedays says:

    Everyone knows my position on red light cameras is “If people weren’t running red lights, we wouldn’t have a problem”, but four hundred dollars is plain crazy.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      “First the came for the Red-Light runners, but I did not care, for I do not run Red-Lights….” Can’t help but notice my radar detector tells me the new cameras on SR100 and others have a radar built into them. If we let this camels nose get under this tent, it’s not long before you will be getting $750.00 tickets in the mail for doing 47 in a 45 MPH zone. We cannot let this stand. It is worth fighting hard to stop. This is the first baby steps of a local Big Brother.

  21. Alfred E. Newman says:

    Do you see the cars and trucks that ROAR through the yellow lights hoping to avoid the
    camera-generated fine?

    Yesterday, I was almost rear-ended on 100, turning right at Belle Terre (Walgreens side).
    This almost happened because I came to a FULL stop prior to turning right on the red light.
    People are so used to NOT stopping and rolling through, they don’t expect you to stop.
    Then they smack into you. Oh yeah, the camera is a wonderful safety device….

    I live in the E section, where we need a traffic light and a left turn cut-out, plus sidewlks.

    But we get shrubbery that blocks visibility turning on Belle Terre, and we get a traffic camera.
    Thanks a lot BIG BROTHER.

    I have two words for Palm Coast government. Use your imagination.

    We live in Scam Coast, FL.

    Imagine that, we want our day in court and they fine us for contesting if we lose!
    How the F*** is that legal????? Holy cow! What a raw deal!

    We should band together and destroy those cameras.

  22. PJ says:

    What we need is for someone to run for our local office in Palm Coast on a platform of outright banning these cameras, PERIOD!

    If there is a politician with the nerve to run under this premise I promise to give you my vote…….forever……PJ

    • Joe Schmo says:

      Politicians or most of them will take payoffs (AKA lobbyist for American Traffic Solutions) directly into their pocket over getting rid of these cash light cameras or crash maker cameras. I saw 2 rear end crashes in less than a week at Seminole Woods and St. Rd. 100. Safety is not the issue those who say it is is a LIAR, it is mo money mo money,which is a drug to these officials and they can’t and will never get enough!

    • NortonSmitty says:

      This is what the fight is about! Tallahassee just took away our local rights to regulate them in any way, let alone remove them!

  23. Glad I left Palm Coast says:

    If everyone obeyed the law like they are suppose to do what is the big deal? A red light means “STOP” every driver has had some form of driver ed and what do they teach you? STOP at a red light it’s the LAW!!!! These cameras are in place to reduce violators who deliberately run red lights, use to see it all the time. Hit them in the wallet with a $408 ticket they will think twice. Besides if the city can make money without raising taxes I am all for it. I would call it a use tax, you ran a red light now get USE to it and deal with your consequences. Saving one life is worth it, has anyone had to deal with a death of a loved one because some asshole thinks they are above the law and can blow through red lights without disregard for other people? It’s not pleasant
    Screw the civil liberty crap, that outfit has done nothing but destroyed the moral fiber of this country. If you get caught oh well, if you loan your car to your kid or friend and they get caught oh well deal with it, take responsibility for your actions for once!!
    The less accidents in the city the less likely the insurance companies will increase rates due to the reduction in accidents they don’t have to pay out as many claims. OBEY THE LAW common sense

    • Nancy N. says:

      I always stop for red lights. Always have and always will. But I don’t like these cameras for two reasons – one, it causes me a lot of anxiety worrying about getting rear ended if I stop extra conservatively because of the cameras and the tourist (or idiot ) behind me does not. That’s almost happened multiple times. I also get honked at (again, tourists and idiots) stopping carefully on right turns because if you don’t stop long enough, the camera will give you a ticket even if you stopped. There’s also the anxiety that the camera will sometimes go off when you’ve made a totally legal right turn. You know it’s gone off and then you have to wait and wonder if you are going to get a ticket for doing something totally legal! I’ve never gotten a ticket but I’ve had some times of wondering if the mailman was going to bring me one. In short, the presence of the cameras makes driving in this town a totally anxiety-ridden and unpleasant experience, even if you are not in the habit of running lights.

      Also, as Norton Smitty noted…some of us just don’t like being under government surveillance! These redlight cameras see more than just red light runners – they see everything that happens in practically every major intersection in town. That’s just way too Big Brother for my comfort!

  24. Think About it says:

    I don’t know how many times I’ve come up to a green light and like a 2-3 car length’s distance it turn yellow, then red in less than a second. I’ve hit my brakes hard and stopped and then HOPE the guy behind me also stops..
    I’ve never run a light and have been driving for over 40 years. never would intentionally, I’m more afraid of getting hit from behind,,,can I sue the camera company if someone rear-ends me? Afterall they would be the one causing me to slam on my brakes and stop. I’m also talking about going UNDER the speed limit, which in PC is 45 on PC Pkwy..
    Looks like this is a money ploy for the red light companies,, Needs to go into the deputies fund. PC shoiuld buy there own cameras and keep the money here.

  25. RC says:

    Yellow lights are always a judgment call, depending where you are when the yellow shows. Now, in PC, instead of relying on my judgment, I am a brake stomper. Almost rear-ended in my new car on PC Pkwy once. I hope we will get our local officials and nominees to post their positions on the cameras before the next election.

  26. Flagler Native says:

    Why can’t we vote on this on the next ballot? Why is it that if something makes money for the political crooks that we can’t vote on it??? Like as if the 17% water hike isn’t enough? Oh well, at least the North side of Palm Coast has nice medians! LOL
    Land of the free, home of the brave…Palm Coast doesn’t seem to share in this sentiment.
    Palm Coast’s new slogan should read: Land of the watched, home of the robbed.

  27. emile says:

    At first I was in favor of red light cameras, having been in a couple of near misses on PC Pkwy and Old Kings. It seemed to make people a bit more cautious, which was a good thing.

    But lately, it sounds more and more like Revenue Enhancement, similar to the old days of a county cop hiding behind a billboard where the 20 mph zone starts.

    Are our elected officials so easily bought? I hope everyone will remember this when the next state and municipal elections roll around.

  28. johnny taxpayer says:

    hopefully the good Governor will utilize his line item veto. But let’s not pretend it’s all the state legislatures fault. Cities like Palm Coast have been leading this charge right along with ATS, and it is ultimately our city council which must be held to account for this hidden tax.

  29. confidential says:

    Mr. Newman if you are not a native,” Welcome to Scam Coast, Fleeceyou County, Florida”.
    @Glad I left Palm Coast…Which less accidents..? Do you read the bad news lately? Neither the school buses are spared!
    In all these years of PC cameras I got and paid one ticket because I was behind a semi that decided to stop once over half way in the long intersection and no room for me to squeeze to either side. Plain unfair.

    • Glad I left Palm Coast says:

      Hey Confidential less t-bone accidents I am sure the rear ends are up because people follow to close, texting, or talking on the phone. Still everyone in such a hurry can’t take responsibility for their own actions. Get use to it, drive like your suppose to and you will not get pinched.

  30. Linda says:

    Reading all these posts. Palm Coast,no. Composte, yes.

  31. confidential says:

    The latest awful tragic traffic news proves that the cameras are “no longer a deterrent” but only another way to punish the taxpayers pockets and generate more revenue to be wasted. Greed prevails over law.

  32. Clint says:

    I’ll fix all their money scamming asses…..I’m going to start driving thru the intersections BACKWARDS !!!

  33. Samuel Smith says:

    If everyone demands court for the red light ticket, the system will be so backlogged that by 2020 they’ll still be hearing offenses from 2013. That’s my advice: go to court.

  34. nyy says:

    Has any one counted the number of rear end accidents since the start of the red light cameras?

  35. Deep South says:

    The only problem I have is they ticket the vehicle. I have four people in my family who drive my truck.

  36. Stephen Donaldson says:

    Time to call SCOTT and ask him to VETO this bill.

    These amendments were lilkey sneaked in when no one was really reading them in the middle of the night.

    Florida Civil Rights Association has called on Gov Scott to VETO HB 7125! http://www.fcranews.com/

    http://alerts.motorists.org/nma-florida-alert-urge-veto-on-transportation-bill-rlc-amendments/

    http://www.banthecams.org/Call-To-Action/call-governor-scott-and-tell-him-to-oppose-rlc-provisions-in-hb7125.html
    His contact information is here: http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/

    Office of Governor Rick Scott
    State of Florida
    The Capitol
    400 S. Monroe St.
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

    (850) 488-7146

  37. JJ says:

    The bottom line is cities need money. They have all these city workers and policeman retiring and can’t afford to pay them their retirement pay. How will they get it? By finding ways to fine and tax people. That is the only solution. That is why these measures pass by near unanimous consent in the legislature. This is bipartisan. It sucks but this is what we have. Its going to take a large majority of people getting absolutely fed up over it to change anything. Unfortunately most people in this country think just because something is a law that it is automatically a “just” law and that if you run a red light you should be fined no matter what. It seems that people no longer care about due process, innocent until proven guilty, or whether or not the law is just. They think you should have to prove your innocence, that if you have “nothing to hide” then you have nothing to worry about, and that laws are just simply because they exist.

  38. Stephen Donaldson says:

    Note the right turn on red provisions were REMOVED! http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/40/4091.asp

    Earlier in the day, the House had approved language that would have entirely banned right turn on red tickets, which remain a major source of revenue for municipalities. This was stripped out and replaced with a less significant provision forbidding municipalities and red light camera companies from issuing limit line “gotcha” tickets that are mailed to drivers who did not stop at the arbitrary painted stop bar but, instead, at the edge of the intersection to look left to check oncoming traffic.

    “A notice of violation and a traffic citation may not be issued under this section if the driver of the vehicle came to a complete stop after crossing the stop line and before turning right if permissible at a red light, but failed to stop before crossing over the stop line or other point at which a stop is required,” House Bill 7125 states.

  39. ATTENTION says:

    TO : aloysious farquart

    ATTENTION: Bikes don’t have airbags, cars do. I’ll take my chance in a car any day.

  40. ATTENTION says:

    and the state wonders why our county has the worst unemployment rate when they are literally taking peoples gas money to work, if there is work. it def has become highway robbery. they’re like damn pirates. if you cross there waters when not allowed, you have to pay up!

  41. ATTENTION says:

    i think people have already started knocking the cameras down. appears to be an accident, but i hope it continues. if your gonna crash, aim for a camera poll…

  42. Paul Henry says:

    “ATS’s lobbying arms went to work several weeks ago… although the more than 70 local governments that have such cameras in Florida were also behind the effort.”

    As one that attended nearly every committee hearing for both the ban bill as well as Rep. Artilles’ and Sen. Abbruzzo’s Motorist Rights Bill, I can assure you neither ATS nor any other automated for-profit device company had any lobbyists there to speak against these bills.

    Why? Because they no longer need them. An army of government (paid for us via our tax dollars) and quasi-government (such as the League of Cities) lobbyists did their work for them. Look at who spoke against provisions such as innocent until proved guilty and you’ll see it was often people that took an oath of office to support and defend the US and Florida Constitutions.

    These officials have sold out their oath for monetary gain. They are corrupt and must be voted out of office.

    Automated for-profit law enforcement is a bad idea, and it breeds corruption.
    “In the future, there is significant revenue to be generated by this venture”
    – Former Gulf Breeze, FL Police Chief Peter Paulding, who now makes $2,000/month in retirement thanks to an automated for-profit device program he used his official position to implement

  43. RG says:

    Green means go. Yellow means stomp on your brakes and red means the color of your face when you get your $ 400 fine. Get your brakes checked its going to be a long hot screeching to a stop summer.

  44. DP says:

    @ PJ,

    I’ll run for office, I have no problem telling it like it is. The only problem I see in electing or giving your vote to the person that runs against the camera’s, is they are only 1 of the 5 monkeys on the board. I’m not a perfect driver, and I can almost guarantee each and every person who posted here isn’t as perfect as they claim driving. The camera’s are for money making, not safety as the jerks claim. I’m done with all this BS the city has created.

  45. The amendments to HB7125 on the red light camera provisions turned the bill into a truly evil assault on drivers in Florida. Due process on camera tickets is gone. The MASSIVE $250 gouge fee for local governments if you challenge a ticket is outrageous – a case of “highway robbery” in the truest sense of the word.

    If you care anything about fairness and justice, Florida residents need to call the Governor to ask him to veto HB7125 because of the punitive and predatory provisions on red light cameras.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  46. GoodFella says:

    Cant someone just cover the cameras with black trash bags? It would not be considered vandalism if their is not damage other than the pockets of this crooked town.

  47. DoubleGator says:

    And the Damn Fools marched on ……….. HELLOW ……….. please stand up and waive your hands if you voted for the money in the pockets politicians who visited this havoc on us poor souls ……….. you cannot run from your vote Mr. MEEKER and your former city feller ilk! Disgusting! This is REAL leadership. $$$$$$$

  48. Wilt says:

    When people are pushed too far with being overtaxed and ticketed to death for red light nuisance then maybe they will spill out into the streets and tear these stanchions down that hold these cameras. It’s coming folks! Politicians are out of tune with the taxpayer.

  49. Charles Gardner says:

    The power of money in politics plain and simple.

  50. Ron Hubbard says:

    Stay out of Palm Coast.

    Do NOT shop in Palm Coast.

    Only when sales flounder and retailers start to howl at the politicians, will this camera SCAM be terminated.

  51. Alfred E. Newman says:

    Mull this over.

    Remove those cameras and install them at busy stop signs around town.
    There’s never an excuse to run a stop sign.
    Heck, they say it’s for safety right?

    No revenue there because nobody needs to beat a stop sign.
    No rear-end collisions. The guy behind you expects to stop every time.

    Simply, no more people running stop signs.
    I can dig that.

    Many people do indeed run stop signs. It’s a bigger problem that red light running.
    Just not as profitable for the city. Our BULLSHIT city.

    2-finger salute to the city!

  52. dawrench says:

    legalized strong arming. I no longer will shop in palm coast Ormond gets my money now.so what politician is getting a raise next year.

  53. DRuta says:

    I had contacted Travis Hutson a few moths ago regarding this Bill and the camera’s in Palm Coast, his response was he was personally against them but would support his constituents views. To me that implies that he was representing the majority of PC residents. WELL HIS VOTING RECORD SEEMS TO COUNTER THE PUBLIC OUTCRY, perhaps he needs to get off his azz and out into the street and not talk but listen to the voters! I guess he’s just another politician that forgot where he came from. Travis if your reading this, I would be Very Interest in Running for your seat. I’m Retired and have served as a public official WITH HONOR AND DISTINCTION over 20 yrs, I may be new to Florida Politics , but I am a man of my word and am a taxpayer that would represent the people who elected me and there best interests. Not Big Business at the sake of the population I represent I see this place I fell in love with going south with some of the changes our local & state government is putting forth.

  54. ATTENTION says:

    IF YOU HAVE TO CRASH, AIM FOR A CAMERA.

  55. Seadog says:

    Florida politicians especially the republicans are allways for sale to the highest bidder and 1.5 million in support by the ATS firms that supply and operate this equipment are paying for what they are getting. Can you imagine the money that is being made to shell out 1.5 million in one state alone in campaign contributions. and lobbying.

  56. SD says:

    Saw a cop get caught under a camera, PC Parkway and Cypress Point, he pulled a move that we can’t, he saw that he was caught, turned on his lights, sped through the light, then turned his lights off, WTF!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Almost bought a house here this month but after receiving two traffic tickets for turning on red, we opted to buy a home in St. Augustine at the last minute. There are more red-light cameras in little, tiny, minimum wage Palm Coast than in Orlando. It is a blatant reminder of just how corrupt your uneducated, mediocre City leaders are. Palm Coast is a wasteland with a shelf life. They are squeezing what little pennies you have from you but in the meantime they do absolutely nothing to bring businesses into the town! I encourage all of you to organize a demonstration at the next council meeting and call in the media. Bring the spotlight to this crummy, corrupt town.

    • Junebug says:

      Almost bought a house here this month but after receiving two traffic tickets for turning on red, we opted to buy a home in St. Augustine at the last minute. There are more red-light cameras in little, tiny, minimum wage Palm Coast than in Orlando. It is a blatant reminder of just how corrupt your uneducated, mediocre City leaders are. Palm Coast is a wasteland with a shelf life. They are squeezing what little pennies you have from you but in the meantime they do absolutely nothing to bring businesses into the town! I encourage all of you to organize a demonstration at the next council meeting and call in the media. Bring the spotlight to this crummy, corrupt town.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so sick of all the cops in Palm Coast thinking they are above the law. They all drive faster than the posted speed. They all run through yellow lights and they speed through the school zones when the lights are flashing. Do they think that just because they are a cop that the can stop faster or what? Palm Coast blows. I am seriously going to push my husband into running for the next election. He will straighten this crooked town out!

  57. Dan says:

    Sarasota lawyer contesting the constitutionality of the law. Judge has not ruled yet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMQmjINiPps&sns=em

  58. Legally says:

    Between the healthcare scam and these red light fines being increased, Scott is acting like a Democrat more and more every day!!! TIME TO GO SCOTT!!!

  59. Tom says:

    Planning on moving from this awful bloodsucking town as soon as I get the chance….43 red light Cameras for a tiny town as Palm Coast?? You won’t convince me it’s for safety. This is high tech robbery nothing else.

  60. Tom says:

    I’m doing all my shopping in St Augustine now, planning on moving from PC soon, will vote against every politician in favor of these cameras, advise all my friends and family to avoid PC. This will be a good start.

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