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Palm Coast’s Long Nightmare With Red-Light Cameras Set to End Friday, 6 Months Early

| March 27, 2017


Unloved. (Paul Sableman)

Come Friday, Palm Coast streets will be red-light-camera free.

A plan the Palm Coast city manager is presenting the city council Tuesday morning would require the contractor running the last four cameras in operation in the city to turn them off (if any are still on) by March 31, six months ahead of when the contract was to end with American Traffic Solutions. ATS has run the system since its inception in Palm Coast a decade ago, but it’s proved to be anything but a solution.

The plan, termed a “wind down agreement,” would end the operation of the cameras by March 31 “by mutual agreement.” But Palm Coast would have to pay ATS $16,000 to remove cameras, poles and other related equipment. ATS would then be expected to have all equipment removed by June 30.

The system was initially installed in Palm Coast in November 2007. The state Supreme Court found pre-2010 installations to be illegal, as state law forbade the operation of red-light camera devices. But Palm Coast wasn’t alone: several other cities had jumped on the red-light camera bandwagon, seeing new revenue in such programs. By then the Legislature had passed a law allowing localities to run such programs, but also curtailing the revenue share local governments could keep.

The systems have been under relentless attack by courts and consumers, including in Palm Coast, where two judges took the system to task–one because he was improperly ticketed, another because Palm Coast’s records were not in line with Clerk of Court requirements. Year after year some lawmakers have tried to ban red-light cameras outright but have so far failed. Another such attempt is ongoing in the current session. Though Palm Coast officials long claimed, with little evidence, that the cameras made roads safer, recent state data pointed the other way, with crashes at red-light camera intersections across the state up 10 percent.

At its height, the program had upwards of 40 cameras in Palm Coast.Two years ago the number fell to five, then four, with the city earning $700 per camera per month, in a flat-free arrangement, or $33,600 a year.

Wind-Down Agreement with ATS (2017)

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30 Responses for “Palm Coast’s Long Nightmare With Red-Light Cameras Set to End Friday, 6 Months Early”

  1. ed james says:

    sad to see them least it kept some of the horrible drivers in check!!

  2. Palm Coast Resident says:

    So will our licenses still be suspended if we don’t pay issues tickets??

  3. Veteran says:

    Good riddance.

  4. Michael Van Buren says:

    I know some will disagree with me on this topic, but I for one will miss the cameras. Law Enforcement is way too busy to babysit every intersection 24/7. Even in their peak the cameras didn’t cover all the signalized intersections in the city (Which is over 50), but the ones they covered was, if nothing else an unbiased, independent witness to be present to document who was in the right, and who was in the wrong in the event of a crash.

    A perfect case in point happened on Palm Coast Parkway and I95 when a woman got t-boned getting on the Parkway. Witnesses on scene blamed the innocent victim, yet the red light cameras showed what really happened (with the other driver running the red light at over 40 mph right into the victim’s driver’s side. It also helped identify two witnesses (a doctor and a paralegal) that left the scene prior to LE arrival. It’s a shame that when this happens again the next victim’s family won’t have the evidence to right help right the wrong and clear their loved ones name.

    If you don’t like red light cameras, don’t run red lights. You will never even know they exist.

  5. concerned mom of teen says:

    Thank Goodness! these cameras have caused more accidents then helping !! and the fee’s for just trying to get thru a light when it wasn’t red yet were insane!! $250 plus or minus for going thru a yellow light when you couldn’t slam on your breaks to stop?? I know everyone in our city is thankful that these cameras will be gone!

  6. Flatsflyer says:

    Tell them their shit is illegal and get it off city property now. If the City Manager pays one cent to Mitt Romney’s criminal enterprise, it will prove that the City Manager was profiting from this scam all along. Follow the money, we have too many local crooks profiting from city contracts. Look at the Holland Park, probably the worst case of criminal wrong doing in the State of Florida?

  7. Warren Hoffman says:

    It seems the only persons who were the exception to the rule were Judges. It seems the “committee was afraid to prosecute them. Automatically “DISMISSED” their cases. Note: “Cases” plural.

  8. tulip says:

    It’s a mistake getting rid of the cameras. It just encourages the morons to be more aggressive and run red lights.

    If people can’t figure out that if the light is yellow when you get to it, you can go through it and not get a ticket. If it’s been yellow a few seconds before you get there, then common sense would tell you to stop as the light is going to turn any second. In other words, learn to drive.

    Some of these people will get stopped by the cops and not only will they pay a fine but get higher insurance rates for 3 years,. Serves you right. Staly and his men appear to be aggressive in catching wrong doers.

    Sad day, the cameras are going away.

  9. kim says:

    Let me tell you, I stop at every red light. The light that is near Walmart and Palm Coast Parkway. Someone is going to get killed at that light. The arrow will be green and out of no where the red signal with a line going across it comes up and everyone jams on their breaks. That’s Bullshit. If these are illegal, what happens to the people who have tickets right now. Why should they have to pay this?

  10. #Bernie2020 says:

    So do I get my money back for making a “illegal” right turn on red near Goodwill? If it was illegal to install why hasn’t my money been returned?

    The camera’s should stay but the program to give tickets based on them had to go.

  11. Carmine Pantuso says:

    Nightmare I disagree…Do we have a problem with drivers running red lights in Palm Coast? You be the judge.

    Let us look at the statics from February 3, 2014 to March 2, 2014. There were 1189 citations issued to drivers that ran red lights that’s just in one month.

    I would conclude that we have a big problem, and that the people who are running red lights are endangering the lives of pedestrians and other safe drivers.

    We’ve already had three deaths in Palm Coast because of drivers running red lights……how many more do we need.

    Red Light Camera’s may night be perfect but it is a deterrent and if it saves just one life it’s worth it……

  12. r&r says:

    Can I get a refund?????????????????????

  13. woodchuck says:

    The city will have to come up with another way to milk the residents.I would not be surprised that they have many on deck.GOOD drivers still look both way’s before entering an intersection yes even at green light but they are few.

  14. Peter Wentworth says:

    Palm Coast has to pay $16K to have the cameras removed???? -Yet another rip off by that company.
    I have a chain saw, I’ll do the job for $500

  15. Jim says:

    My they will be missed………NOT!!!!!!!!!!!! Good riddance

  16. Wookie says:

    Seriously!!! I just got one last week. How can we find out if we are still on the hook for that money? Every article I read says yes you have to pay if the city issues the UTC well how do I find out who’s insuring the UTC? Anyone have any advice? Thanks

  17. Markingthedays says:

    If no camera sees me run a red light, does that make it legal to run it?

  18. doug says:

    Yes, the rear-end collisions have INCREASED by at least 10%, and it is going to increase your accident insurance premiums for sure, just because you live in this zip code. This whole thing was promoted as a “revenue inhancement” program, and it was until the state changed their cut and some requirements. The people running the program shortened the length of the yellow lights just to make more violations possible. When I was working on the Minneapolis police department, we LENGTHENED the yellow light and accidents went way down. Nothing wrong with a long yellow, and an ovedrlap pause before green from the cross traffic. This was nothing more than a possible money maker and not a safety issue. Call in Paul Newman with his pipe cutter, and make them go away.

  19. shark says:

    Take the $16,000 out of Landon’s paycheck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Justus Scott says:

    I have the same question as #Bernie2020. If they were invalid, do I get my money back?

  21. James C. Walker says:

    “Nightmare” is a very good term for red light cameras. They issue most tickets to safe drivers who endangered no one for the sole purpose of profits. But enforcement for profits is 100% wrong, 100% of the time. People can help end the nightmare statewide. Florida residents need to call and write their state Representatives, Senators, and the Governor to politely but clearly insist that a bill to totally ban red light cameras becomes law. Let each official know you find the cameras to be unacceptable and that complete removal is the only acceptable solution. Contact information:

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  22. sam says:

    I thank you sir for all your years of service and being a great LEO for Flagler County, I think they should use your years of service to teach new LEO how to behave and act in the line of duty and off duty. I don’t think the people of PC are against cameras but they are tired of the fines and see the system as a revenue generated machine for the contracted company and the city. There are a lot of other cities that have cameras at intersections being used to monitor traffic that can be used as evidence in a traffic accident.

  23. Sam says:

    Never should have started. Better to have the time down type still safe and edu drivers as to when the light goes caution/red. I believe PC motorists will still slow down and ease thru the turn on red. No one wants a ticket, but no one ever wants an accident to pay for.

  24. Mac says:

    As one Floridian politician stated: “If this were really about safety, you would just make the yellow lights longer”. Instead, some were made briefer, along witharrows, to pump up revenue. Take for instance the left turn from PC Pkwy onto Boulder Rock, which for a while only let 3 cars make it through. I never felt safe at the camera lights, always afraid I’d get rear-ended.

    Most of the egregious driving I see in PC isn’t at the lights, it’s in between. Tailgaiting no matter where you are or how fast you’re already going, people making turns into Winn Dixie from the center lane, risking life and limb to get in front of you rather than pull behind you. Most of us have Fords but some still have to prove the (same) engine in theirs is faster than yours. No signals, no patience, just aggression. Everybody’s texting and weaving. Red light cameras won’t help any of that. Neither will mannequins in parked cop cars…

  25. James C. Walker says:

    For Mac:
    In July 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) changed the formula for yellow light intervals to make it possible for cities to deliberately set them too short for the ACTUAL approach speeds of at least 85% of the vehicles – a safety requirement for minimum violation rates.

    In September 2013, FDOT changed the rules again to essentially forbid cities from setting yellow intervals long enough for the ACTUAL approach speeds by requiring them to use the posted speed limits as the approach speeds – even when the posted limits are far below the actual approach speeds.

    FDOT is an active, for-profit business partner with the for-profit camera companies so that the state gets more $83 commissions on each $158 ticket, without paying a penny of the typical high camera costs of $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera. Red light cameras are money grab programs, NOT for safety.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  26. Lazaruis says:


  27. JOE says:

    If you don’t run the red light you don’t have to worry. Everybody complaining about these camera’s are the ones that don’t obey the law.

  28. James C. Walker says:

    What JOE likely doesn’t understand is this part of my post above.

    In September 2013, FDOT changed the rules again to essentially forbid cities from setting yellow intervals long enough for the ACTUAL approach speeds by requiring them to use the posted speed limits as the approach speeds – even when the posted limits are far below the actual approach speeds.

    When most traffic lights are REQUIRED to have yellow intervals too short so that the state gets more $83 commissions on each $158 ticket, the entire system is a money grab racket that should be illegal.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  29. William A Gilles says:

    Have you been rear-ended yet for stopping immediately when the light changed to yellow? If one doesn’t stop, how long before the light changes red and a ticket results.

  30. Jessy says:

    When will people in Palm Coast, and Flagler county headed into Voulsia county etc wake up, and realize the red light camera’s are a good thing?? If you do not want to get fined, don’t run the read lights, or go over the speed limits…..just common sense, or in the case uncommon sense, because people do run red lights, and i have seen it happen several time in Palm Coast more so when it is dark. My wife, son, and I had been coming back from Orlando and sitting at a red light in Palm Coast, and some person just flew past us, and it was just happened to be at around 02:00am and not many card around that they didn’t hit anyone. Also the pedestrian crossings are ignored, ad my son, and I get very nervous using them the correct way, because people still tun when we have the right of way, ad it happen more often than not. Maybe 50% of the time someone turns when we are walking across, and we have the right of way!!

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