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County Sends Protest Letter to Palm Coast Over Red-Light Spy Cameras on SR100

| September 17, 2012

State Road 100, a great place for more spy traffic cameras, according to Palm Coast, not so great, according to county government. (© FlaglerLive)

State Road 100, a great place for more spy traffic cameras, according to Palm Coast, not so great, according to county government. (© FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County Commission voted 4-1 this evening to ask the Palm Coast City Council to reconsider its decision to spread installations of automated spy-and-snap red-light traffic cameras to State Road 100—a state road that, by falling within Palm Coast’s boundaries, gives the city the right to regulate within its code enforcement department. The city categorizes its spy cameras as code enforcement devices rather than policing devices.

In a polite if terse letter that recognized the county’s very limited say in the matter, Commission Chairman told the council that the cameras may force county residents to avoid S.R. 100, hurting commerce along that road, and send bad vibes to visitors and tourists who would then, by word of mouth, spread negative sentiments about Flagler County and Palm Coast.

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“Advertised as the closest beach to I-95, it could impact tourist[s] unfamiliar with the red light cameras,” Revels wrote. “Getting a ticket of $140 may become an unpleasant reminder of their visit and a reason why they will not come back to visit our community.” The fine is actually $158. “Moreover, people tend to share their negative experiences with more people than they discuss good ones. A negative experience with the red light cameras is counterproductive to the word we are trying to convey about our community.” (See the full text of the letter below.)

The Palm Coast council, which meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, is likely to politely acknowledge the letter and ignore it, though taking that stand would further irritate rtelations between the two governments. Those relations have been growing more brittle since last year, after long period of calm.

The camera sites were selected by American Traffic Solutions, the private company running the system for Palm Coast and cashing in on most of the profits (once the state takes its 52 percent cut), and by the city, based on the more lucratively trafficked intersections in the city. Palm Coast makes at least $700 per camera per month, which, based on the 52 cameras ATS plans to install ultimately, works out to $36,400 a month, or $437,000 a year, not counting potential additional revenue once ATS has maxed out its cut. But while Palm Coast will make money on the cameras regardless of where they’re installed, ATS cannot make money unless the cameras are installed in places where people will run them—and where there is enough traffic to make the projection profitable.

In essence, Palm Coast has run out of such lucrative intersections on its own municipal roads. So it’s going after the county’s and the state’s. County fire officials have not helped ATS along.

Revels spoke more forcefully during the meeting, just before the vote approving the letter. “I just want to restate that this is just a request that I hope the city will take seriously, and consider it, and think about the ramifications for the rest of the people in the rest of the county, particularly their business community,”  Revels said.

She had spoken of receiving a stream of communications from people raising issues with the cameras, including one “right before we started this meeting from a family who says that when the red light cameras were installed in the core area of Palm Coast, they quit going there to shop, at Bells and Walmart and instead they were going to Target,” Revels said. “They just feel trapped in their home is their statement. They just really don’t like going out and they worry about our major income of our tourism, and how that would affect tourism if people get a bad taste from that. They’re thankful that we might make this request to the city of Palm Coast.

The commission’s decision drew opposition from Alan Peterson, the commissioner who’s down to his last few meetings (he lost a reelection bid in August).

alan peterson flagler county commission

Alan Peterson (© FlaglerLive)

“We talk all the time about trying to protect home rule and invasions of federal and state government on a county’s activities or a city’s activities,” Peterson said. I personally think that this matter is a mistake. I think that it’s involving the county, however politely it is stated, in matters that are solely the responsibility of the city of Palm Coast. Nobody likes red-light cameras. I didn’t like it when I got a ticket for not paying attention and the yellow light turned red just as I entered the intersection, but it was my own fault. People get a citation because they have violated Florida traffic regulations.”

He said the biggest complaint is turning right on red, an issue he learned about when he was on the Palm Coast City Council—when, he said, the council made sure that only reckless drivers who didn’t so much as slow down considerably got cited, not those who carefully made their way to a turn.

But that comment clarified why Peterson was in a difficult position as a county commissioner supporting a letter of protest to Palm Coast: he could not in good conscience have been—as he was—fully supportive of the spy cameras when he was on the council, only to switch off that support as a commissioner.

Peterson went on to criticize the commission for suggesting “that individuals coming into a jurisdiction of Palm Coast don’t have to obey the traffic regulations that the residents of Palm Coast have to obey, that they don’t have to obey traffic safety rules and regulations,” though no one on the commission would have agreed with that characterization of the issue: red-light cameras are controversial for many reasons, not least of which their legally tenuous grounds. Cities with red-light cameras are in litigation in Florida in state and federal courts, with the issue not likely to be settled until it reaches at least the state Supreme Court (where it appears headed, as appellate courts have reached contradictory conclusions).

“It’s my understanding,” Peterson said, “that the sites that were selected for these cameras were ones that were recommended by the public safety people in Flagler County, the fire department, the sheriff’s department, these are where accidents occur—”

“Not Flagler County, Mr. Peterson,” Commissioner Nate McLaughlin corrected, “not Flagler County.”

“I was told that, if that’s not true then I stand corrected on that particular issue,” Peterson said.  “But it doesn’t change my objection that this is a city of Palm Coast issue, not one that the county should be involved in, so I oppose the sending of a letter even though I think it is written in as friendly a way as possible.”

Commissioner Milissa Holland said she supports home rule, but that local governments have issues that impact each other regardless of their jurisdictional boundaries. “There are times where we have our municipalities come to us to talk about an impact that we’re going to have on our community with some of the decisions that are made. It’s no different than, in my opinion, us reaching out to different government entities by just a suggestion of relaying some of the input that we’ve received throughout the community.” The letter, Holland said, is not insisting on anything, or “mandating that they do it, other than just a suggestion and the relaying of information that’s caused some concerns for others.”

McLaughlin had pressed the issue earlier this month. He called it a “reasonable request” for one stretch of road in the county. Commissioner George Hanns recalled an instance at a previous Potato Festival in Bunnell when the Bunnell Police Department was at both ends of U.S. 1, “writing tickets as fast as they could, and it really interfered with the people coming to that event, and we heard it all day long, about some people just turned around and went home.” He added: “The letter, he added, is very tastefully done. Obviously I didn’t write it.”

Barbara Revels’s and the Flagler County Commission’s Letter to the Palm Coast City Council:

Dear Mayor and Councilmen:

I have been contacted by residents of Bunnell, Flagler Beach, Palm Coast and unincorporated Flagler County regarding the planned installation of Red Light Cameras along the State Road 100 corridor.

While we fully recognize the City’s right to install cameras anywhere within your City boundaries, even over State Highways, we ask that you consider a request to not place these cameras along the State Road 100 corridor. Up to this point you have primarily placed the cameras in the City’s core on roadways entirely controlled and almost entirely used by the citizens of Palm Coast. With the cameras proposed on State Road 100 you will now be affecting other communities and tourism in a major way.

barbara revels flagler county commission

Barbara Revels

Citizens have asked that they have the ability to travel and do their shopping from Flagler Beach to Bunnell without having to encounter such cameras, They have stated that they currently avoid shopping in Palm Coast’s core area due to the traffic and Red Light Cameras. These citizens are also concerned about the greater possibility of being rear-ended in a traffic accident because of the necessity to slam on brakes, fearing a costly ticket should they not stop quick enough [sic.]. With our large elderly population this new technology will affect them as well.

This same mindset may carry over to our visitors causing tourists to avoid our community.  Advertised as the closest beach to I-95, it could impact tourist[s] unfamiliar with the red light cameras. Getting a ticket of $140 [the fine is actually $158] may become an unpleasant reminder of their visit and a reason why they will not come back to visit our community. Moreover, people tend to share their negative experiences with more people than they discuss good ones. A negative experience with the red light cameras is counterproductive to the word we are trying to convey about our community.

Additional congestion may be another reason to avoid placing camera on State Road 100. The highway 100 corridor is a busy connector road that moves many people to places of work and shopping. People fearing the possible incidence of a red light camera shot may tend to drive considerably slower, thus exacerbating traffic congestion when the speed limits allow for much faster traffic movement.

I, therefore, respectfully, ask that this issue be brought to the City Council for reconsideration.

Barbara S. Revels, Chair
Flagler County Board of County Commissioners

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46 Responses for “County Sends Protest Letter to Palm Coast Over Red-Light Spy Cameras on SR100”

  1. blondee says:

    Oh please!!!!! Someone feels “trapped in their home” because we have red light cameras?? pfft!!!!!!

  2. Edman says:

    We constantly hear from a political party that people need to assume responsibility for themselves. Perhaps they should take responsibility for their driving legally and not going through red lights endangering the rest of us.

  3. Rev Frank Currier says:

    I myself have been a recipient of one of the Red Light Tickets, on a right turn (even after stopping) I paid it. I have changed my shopping habits to avoid Palm Coast at all costs. I guess I will have to avoid SR 100 now too, I live in the Hammock, there are no RED LIGHT CAMERAS there so I will shop in St Augustine more. Thank Palm Coast.

  4. Palm Coast Resident says:

    Wha! Wha! Wha! Wha! We pay good money to the County Commissioners and they want to waste thier time crying over red light cameras……….Let’s face it, Revels travels Rt 100 to her office in Flagler Beach and she’s scared she might get a ticky…….Poor Chairman Revels…..Is this what you were elected for.
    On second thought, maybe she wants a cut of the income from the camera’s….THAT’S THE TICKET….

    Get some jobs for the unemployed, maybe cut our taxes……stop rubber stamping everything that goes in front of the County Commissioners.

    If I were the Palm Coast City Council, I’d write a one letter response…”No”….

  5. Magicone says:

    Why should the city council reconsider the cameras in the south end of the county?? Don’t people run red lights on St. Rd. 100? Lets all do our shopping in Ormond Bch or St. Augustine, there are too many “bad vibes” in Flagler county………..

  6. Robbie says:

    I remember when AAA used to put a marking on their maps for areas that were considered speed traps. Maybe now they should label areas as red light traps. I stil don’t think it is right for the owner of the vehicle to get the fine rather than the driver.

  7. DoubleGator says:

    Let’s cut through the BS. There are maybe 12 intersections in Palm Coast where because of safety issues these cameras are justified. We are not a place of dense traffic….. oh but we wish. These are revenue generating mules farmed out to private contractors. Shame on the Palm Coast Commissions. Vote them all out. Now or the next ime you get a chance.

  8. GoodFella says:

    Go ahead Palm Coast put up your little spy cams. Its just so you can make some more money, you dont give a crap about the residents safety. Hmmm, I have an idea. Put it in the contract that you will use all the proceeds to add sidewalks/bikepaths for the childrens safety off of SR100 instead of in your own pockets.Then, maybe then you will EARN the support and respect of your residents.

  9. Ben Blakely says:

    I feel that Flagler County is getting down on its knees and begging the snotty politicians in Palm Coast to relent on the red light cameras. Huh?

    Looks like the greedy ever spending politicians in Palm Coast have the country at their mercy. Why would the money grubbing vampires in Palm Coast relinquish their little pot of gold just because Flagler Country politely asks in a tear jerk letter? I think this approach by Flagler County is pucillanimous in its strategy to convince PC to give up its golden goose.

    Why? Because PC politicians have demonstrated all too well they care little for what citizens say or want. Instead, they follow there greedy crooked noses to squeeze and gouge as much money from the citizenry of PC in as many different ways as possible.

    The answer is to STEER CLEAR of Palm Coast. Send the parasite politicians in PC a clear message by shopping elsewhere. Why should you become victimized by these gouls?
    Bye bye Palm Coast!

  10. jespo says:

    Hahahaha! Tourism will be adversely affected….that’s funny. I mean, the hoardes of tourists flocking to this county will simply go elsewhere because they wish to drive like they’re used to driving (because their towns, you know, have no driving laws). Somehow, I don’t buy that. The old people will suddenly start slamming on their brakes at the first sight of yellow lights about to turn red….like that doesn’t happen now, or worse, we watch them roll through it because, well, they can’t drive well anymore.

    Here’s a novel idea: drive like you’re suppossed to drive – within the law. Drive smart, pay attention, anticipate…it’s what we teach teenagers to do but whoah freakin Nellie past a certain age you can drive any ol way ya like. Peope want to whine and stamp their feet and toss an extra 20 gallons a month into their tanks to drive to another county for their milk and cookies then go, fly, be free…shorter lines for me.

  11. Billybob says:

    “I didn’t like it when I got a ticket for not paying attention and the yellow light turned red just as I entered the intersection, but it was my own fault.” – Commissioner Peterson.

    I highlighted his statement to illustrate how red light cameras play on a basic misconception.

    Supposition: Red light cameras keep people from running red lights and reduce collisions. Bad drivers are ticketed. Good drivers aren’t. Revenue is collected from the red light runners. What’s not to like?

    There’s a problem: Crashes still occur at intersections with red light cameras. Data shows virtually no decrease in collisions and sometimes an increase in collisions. (Why?)

    Misconception: Crashes occur because cross traffic is driving through the intersection at the moment the light changes from yellow to red and this causes crashes. In fact, this is what is meant by “running a red light.”

    Reality: There is (typically) a one second delay programmed into traffic lights where BOTH sides have a red light. This is done to allow the traffic to clear the intersection in case the light has flipped from yellow to red before the car is able to clear the intersection. The yellow to red flip is NOT what causes crashes and according to Florida’s own driving guide is not “running a red light.” Commisioner Peterson actually didn’t break the law (although I would strongly suggest anyone who knows they have moments where they are not paying attention while driving should seriously consider not driving anymore).

    Driving Rules: The 2012 Florida Driver’s Handbook states “Yellow Light: Stop if you can safely do so.” It does not state that you need to slam on brakes because if the light flips from yellow to red you are guilty of running a red light.

    Red Light Runners / The real cause of collisions: Collisions (typically) occur when someone doesn’t see or react to the red light AT ALL and drives directly into an intersection while the cross traffic is already moving. These people are so distracted the last thing they are thinking about is the intersection having a traffic camera. The crash happens whether the camera is there or not.

    The Data: Red Light Camera intersections are no safer than non-camera intersections. Source:

    Traffic Camera Revenue Scam: It is well documented across the country that these companies and local governments program the traffic cameras to ticket you for the yellow to red switch. They can then show a photo of you in the intersection with a red light and charge you big bucks. They get away with it because they claim they are doing it in the interest of public safety, because after all nobody wants people to run red lights. The problem is with their definition of running a red light. If they programmed the cameras to only operate AFTER the cross traffic was given the green light, then I would have NO PROBLEM with red light cameras. The fact that they capture the yellow to red flip and ticket those law abiding people shows that the cameras are merely for financial gain. The same goes for right on red. These are good citizens who are getting ticketed on technicalities. They are not “red light runners” causing crashes.

    Knowing the city is about to install these cameras all over the place gives me a really sick feeling about Palm Coast. For them to get the revenue they apparently desperately need I would rather pay a few cents more on my property taxes than to have it taken from the citizens of this city in such a blatantly overt manner. There’s a lot to love about living in Palm Coast, but the traffic cameras aren’t one of those things. Has the city considered that being known as a traffic camera city is a NEGATIVE, not a positive?

    Any lawyers out there? Would you please comment on what happens if city residents simply ignore the “code enforcement violation”? I understand it’s not a driving infraction (and that says a lot). Is it like one of those letters that says in big bold print “THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT” in an effort to intimidate you into paying?

    Anybody “caught” in Palm Coast? Would you consider posting photos / video of what was presented to you as “evidence”? Were you hit by the yellow to red flip? Or did you genuinely get distracted and run through a red light?

  12. Reality Check says:

    Flagler County Commissioners having another pity party pull up your big boy pants and deal with it, if it were not for Palm Coat FC would have next to no tax revenue. You do not like that fact well ask the Bunnell residents to triple their taxes so you can help make up for your short fall. It is time to give Flagler County a governmental enema, along with the county work force, no money equals work force reduction. The problem lies where no politician wants to commit political suicide and make the hard decisions; they are all there for the payday!

  13. Darren DeWitt says:

    I would agree with traffic cameras if evidence clearly indicated that running red lights at a particular intersection was causing accidents there. This instead is a cowardly way to raise revenue without raising taxes. Maybe the county should put traffic cameras all over Palm Coast. After all, Palm Coast is entirely within the confines and jurisdiction of Flagler County. Maybe they could even double them up at the same intersections! I disagree with traffic cameras because it takes away the judgement factor for the driver, disregarding road conditions, etc. I am less likely to slam on the brakes when the road is wet for example. Besides, the company that provides the camera is keeping most of the revenue.

  14. BIKER says:

    Let me see you raise our taxes, Disenfranchised us of our right to vote on specific tax issues that diectly imapct us, and now yoiur complaining about redlight cameras? LoL. Way to go commissioners!!. Political Diversion at its best.!! How about you deal with the real isssues that you have been elected to address and leave the nonsense issues alone.
    Sfay clear of Palm Coast because of Redlight cameras? LOL!! I have an idea -stop blowing through redlights an you wont have a problem!! Or better yet stay the heck out of PC if you do not know how to drive

  15. Ralph Belcher says:

    Has anyone seen the red light camera Youtube videos? People are blowing through red lights, causing wrecks.

    We are fighting one thing here. We have a CULTURE of rolling through stop signs and red lights. I don’t know who can truly deny that. It’s a fairly widespread culture. Let’s open our eyes. At the County Commission meetings Revels said that elderly residents said that they should have some latitude when it comes to approaching signals (to paraphrase). Huh?

    I maintain that a stop sign IS a stop sign, not a YIELD sign, and a red light is just that. Shining to provide some degree of safety for opposing traffic – and who are we as the general population to try to indiscriminately choose to ignore traffic controls. Eventually in the long run it leads to a free-for-all each driver for themselves sort of lawless situation. Let’s be safe out there. Follow the controls like you expect your fellow drivers to do when you enjoy the right of way when your light is green while approaching an intersection.

  16. Dorothea says:

    @Rev Frank Currier

    You had the right to a simple review and/or appeal if you did, in fact, stop at the red light as you claim. Instead you chose to pay the fine. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Day after day we are bombarded on this website by terrible and tragic automobile accidents followed by expressions of deep and poignant sadness by family and friends in the comment section. If red light cameras prevent some of this mayhem, they do serve a purpose. If red light cameras are such a burden on drivers because the cameras force them to actually stop at red lights and observe speed limits, then by all means, stay out of Palm Coast. I’m tired of being almost run down by speeding and careless drivers while trying to bicycle or walk through the city. Try walking across a street in Palm Coast when a driver is making a right turn on red and you just happen to be in their way.

  17. The Truth says:

    NEWS FLASH: Obey the law, don’t run red lights and you won’t get a ticket.

    American Traffic Solutions makes absolutely $0 if no one runs a red light. These are not “red light traps”, they are red light cameras. They are taping what you are ACTUALLY DOING. It’s really that simple — don’t run the red light and you won’t get a ticket.

    End of story.

  18. Clint says:

    What we need are more pidgeons nesting on the camera’s. After a few weeks there will be NO MORE clear pictures. Lets hear it for the pidgeons !

  19. johnny taxpayer says:

    I think the letter was a very appropriate step for the county commission to take. Even if you fully believe in the spy cameras, and think they are effective, like it or not they will affect local businesses and the struggling local economy. All so Palm Coast can keep the red light revenue enhancement gravy train on the track.

  20. bud says:

    So we as society are in favor of further taxing ourselves for even safer roads than we already have? Can we afford this as a city, county, or nation or is money better spent on more pressing items?

    It seems that many are in favor of this while there is little to no proof that these red light cameras actually make anything safer. I would argue that most accidents that occur because a red light was run happens because the driver was in some sort of trance or was drunk. In either case, a camera to capture the offense after it occured would have done nothing to prevent it. I sure wish society (in which I am part of)would stop being so damn scared that they are willing to taking away every remaining freedom we enjoy.

  21. rthomp11 says:

    Just another reason why I moved to the country and now shop in Palatka. I buy my feed in Bunnell, my meat at Harris’s and then everything else at Walmart in Palatka. There is less traffic and nicer people. And no red light cameras.

  22. rthomp11 says:

    But really 52 cameras does seem a bit excessive! And on Rt 100 they are going to catch all those high school kids, bus drivers and parents dropping their kids off for school. And the Searay workers. Is Palm Coast so hard up for money that they need the cameras for the income?

    • Reality Check says:

      That is funny, you say catch them, the poor souls; maybe if they did not run the light there would be no ticket. I do not agree with the cameras 100% but they do seem to make people more aware of their surrounding, a T-bone wreck (when one cargoes head on into another cars side) is one of the most deadly of all accidents. The higher the speed limit the more severe the crash, roads like 100 need this but I think law enforcement needs to do the work. The Sherriff needs to patrol those types of roads more just to cut down on all the people I watch texting and going from 55 MPH to 40 back up to 50, they cannot concentrate on driving, they will eventually injure or kill someone out there.

      As far as bus drivers, if they are caught it should be automatic termination, no questions asked!

  23. JR says:

    Wrong Mr. Peterson, they are not being ticketed for violating a Florida traffic violation. That would be a violation of state law for them to issue such a ticket. What they can do is issue a city code violation. Yeah, from the same people who patrol the streets looking for errant overgrown weeds.

  24. Tanders says:

    Well…. the cameras do leave a sour taste to anyone! Actually, we chose not to buy a home based on the red-light cameras. The camera was right at the end of the block and would be a frequently traveled spot that, although we follow the rules, know that one day we may forget to stop thoroughly before right turn and be stuck holding a pricey bill each and every time it may occur. We have heard this from others that say when you live near them, you need to account that you will most likely need to set money aside for that forgetful day. They called it a “Thank you for living here tax” LOL But yes, the lights are a noble idea for money making, but why even take the risk….will just spend our money elsewhere. $4/gal is cheaper than $150tix…..just saying.

  25. L.D. Ablo says:

    Two things to do:
    Start a petition drive vowing to boycott Palm Coast businesses.
    Flush twice to reach the Palm Coast city council.

  26. Lonewolf says:

    I don’t get it…do you people commenting against the cams WANT to run red lights? Do you run them now?

    Why not Robbie…if the person you let drive your car runs a red light and kills someone…I GUARANTEE you’ll be sued

    ALL you have to do is stop for a red light….you should be doing that anyway.

  27. FB Insider says:

    Here’s a thought: don’t run a red light, and you won’t get a ticket! Oh my God! For those of you complaining about turns, they have since formed a policy where they review them prior to just issuing a ticket. If you get one, you can APPEAL it and they have VIDEO as well to show your case in court. It’s for your safety, quit complaining and drive right!

    • w.ryan says:

      Did you not read Billybob says above? So far that is the best explanation as to why these cameras are illegal. The rhetoric you are going on with doesn’t make sense. These traffic lights are to help in keeping cars from collisions. The all stop of 1 second is to aid in judgements by drivers because we all reacted differently. We see the amber light and make a judgements based on speed, danger, familiarity, weather, etc. What don’t you understand? Are you that brainwashed?

  28. tulip says:

    For those who will do all their shopping outside of Palm Coast because you don’t like the cameras, you better learn where the cameras are in Daytona and Orlando, so will be able to avoid those places too.

  29. blondee says:

    Alan Peterson: “I didn’t like it when I got a ticket for not paying attention and the yellow light turned red just as I entered the intersection…..”

    Sorry, no sympathy here. In your own words you were “NOT PAYING ATTENTION!”

  30. Gene Ralno says:

    Too late to worry about it. Florida has become America’s red light state and motor tourists know it. They’re not scofflaws. They’re just simple folk who believe they already have to many distractions. Some will find friendlier places to vacation. Florida also has a great study that indicates ticket cameras have no effect on intersection safety. Florida’s only competitor is Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago. He’s installing revenue cameras by the hundreds. People now also know this is a clever evolution of the plan to redistribute wealth to those chosen by politicians — that would be the folks who vote for them.

  31. Clint says:

    When are the money vampires here in Palm Coast going to start ticketing the DANGEROUS and CARELESS bicyclist who are running in GANGS terrorizing the roads. Something needs to be done. And there should also be a law against people wearing SPANDEX . Its a freak show out there !

  32. initialjoe says:

    I am ok with red light running ticket generating cameras…I got one because I didn’t pay attention once on the Parkway and now I tend to pay attention. One thing I dislike is all the drama queens scared of getting tickets that now stop on yellow and nearly cause me to run into their cars. PLEASE…PLEASE…JUST DRIVE NORMALLY.

    I also don’t believe the ticket should be given to the cars owner…it should be given to the driver since it would be theor fault.

  33. tulip says:

    @Blondie I don’t think Mr. Peterson was looking for sympathy, I think he was just expressing the thought that he wasn’t paying attention, wasn’t thrilled at getting a ticket, but knew he deserved it. And I imagine that is the thoughts of a lot of people, although they wouldn’t admit it.

    @ GENE There are many states with red light cameras, look it up.

    @FB Insider, you are exactly right. My friend got a ticket in the mail, along with a reference # to use online where she could see the video of herself going through a red light.

    • Gene Ralno says:

      Revenue cameras are old hat by now but more than 30 referendums in other parts of the country have voted them out. Houston not only had to terminate its revenue-cameras but also was ordered to pay a million dollars to the camera company for violating the contract. Private contracts restrict government discretion to set and enforce traffic regulations at the peril of public safety. Many have been ordered to refund unjust fines. Fifteen states have banned them outright, partly because they know the scofflaws always find a way around law enforcement and good citizens never do. The simple fact is it’s difficult and cost-prohibitive for private citizens to file lawsuits to make the city do the right thing. Sixty million drivers in about half of the states now are distracted by revenue cameras while commuting or shopping. Outraged citizens are reacting by ousting local politicians, frequently based on this one issue alone. However, with tax money, most cities will work through expensive litigation because they’re patient, tough, resilient, and above all, they desperately need the money. But the outrage continues against politicians who install revenue-cameras to escape the consequences of their fiscal irresponsibility. And it’s particularly outrageous when they use their police powers to fleece the people they’re supposed to serve.

      To make matters worse, uses of revenue-cameras are being diversified. Thus far, cities have implemented revenue-cameras to fine drivers for radar detectors, eating, insufficient tire tread, excessive tinting, license tag violations, expired inspection stickers, HOV lane violations, map reading and cell phone usage. Washington, D.C. has eight ticket cameras that cite motorists for inching their bumpers past a line – at STOP SIGNS! Ticket-cameras have been suggested for not using turn signals or using them improperly. One company sells a mobile revenue-camera system that monitors the speed of 32 vehicles simultaneously, across four lanes coming and going. Another growing scheme is to install cameras on 458,229 school buses transporting round trip, about 28 million kids annually. What the camera manufacturers don’t tell you is from 2006 to 2009 we had only 82 fatalities nationwide and 68 were caused by the bus drivers. Doing the math, we lose about 20 kids each year and 17 of those tragic fatalities are caused by bus drivers. Only three are caused by errant drivers. That’s about .00000001 (.000001%) or about one out of every hundred million pupil-trips. Admittedly, that’s also one fatality too many but seems to me all that money could be better spent on other things that might actually stop errant drivers before they kill even that one. It also would seem we have many other much more worthy accident prevention programs for which our money should be spent. To put this in perspective, four children are killed on tricycles each year, 33% more than by drivers who ignore or don’t see school bus signals. Borrowing a worn-out argument, it’s a solution looking for a problem.

      Beyond inattentive drivers, hospitals and restaurants now use cameras to ensure employees wash their hands. And worse than that, cameras now are airborne. Forty-one public agencies currently are authorized by the FAA to fly drones. Law enforcement comprises about a fourth of them and it’s now estimated that 30,000 camera drones will be in use by the next decade. Because they fly four miles above the typical commercial airliner, 30,000 is a small number. Because they’re invisible at that altitude, I have no doubt they’ll soon be used to generate revenue. You won’t know what hit you. They’ve also been miniaturized. One inventor has produced a drone with a five-inch wing span and said, “I’ll be happy once it’s fly-sized.” You won’t see this “bug” while it watches you “conspire” against the government or watches you package chalk dust for your next cemetery visit – that’s the stuff someone said looked like cocaine or anthrax. I discovered that videos are reviewed only for unpaid or appealed citations. This unpublicized procedure, justified under the label of efficiency, reveals they’re not concerned about unjust punishment of those who would rather pay than endure the hassle. I also discovered many cities issue “snitch tickets.” These are citations “suggesting” that you’re required to admit you were driving. They “suggest” you’re required to identify the driver even if it was your spouse or child. Legally, you aren’t required to speak at all because, remember, you’re the accused.

      I’m wondering how much government oversight we need. In 1790, the population of the United States was four million and federal bureaucrats (non-military, non-elected officials) numbered about 1,000. That’s one bureaucrat for every 4,000 Americans. Today, the federal government employs three million non-elected, non-military officials. With 300 million people, we now have one bureaucrat for every 100 Americans, one percent of the population (as opposed to a miniscule 0.00025 percent in 1790). We now live in a society where a federal bureaucrat watches every group of 100 citizens — and that’s without counting the millions of state and local government employees. All this is damning evidence that city officials who support police-cameras don’t care much about the size of government and are interested only in the revenue. Seems they haven’t much interest in justice or safety. Informed communities are rejecting their fiscally irresponsible bosses and electing responsible officials who will stop or rescind costly, oppressive and dictatorial solutions. Camera enforcement has become a monstrous and lucrative business that will never end unless we stop it at the ballot box. That do it for you tulip?

  34. StopATS says:

    ATS is owned by Goldman Sachs Their only objective is to make money. If your town decides to end the contract early, ATS will sue your town for millions – they sued Houston for $25 million when the council decided to get rid of the cameras. The cameras also drain local American economies of hundreds of millions of dollars each year. This is money that could be spent at local businesses that create jobs.

    20 reasons to oppose photo radar


    • Gene Ralno says:

      Actually, Goldman-Sachs owns only about a third of ATS. But you’re correct that their only objective is to make money. As an investment bank, they could do no less for their clients. It’s a 143-year old firm with assets totaling almost a trillion. ATS is only one from a list of thousands of firms. ATS isn’t on their radar either and probably amounts to a rounding error. They believe it’s a good investment. I don’t.

  35. PJ says:

    The cameras are a joke.

    Palm Coast and their mismanagement needs them to help pay for their mistakes.

    Peterson good riddens. Leaving on such a vote with many fine years of service so I say what could you be thnking?

    I think if you want public safety as I’ve said many times before in my comments on this topic is this:

    1) set the yellow timers longer to clear the intersection.

    2) if you are really trying to care the public you can have motion sensors that hold the green light until the intersection is clear. (the sherriff of Clay County would not have them insalled unless the motion sensor was installed) (he told his bosses the county commission this) What a man!!!

    3) if you must have a photo enforced light put them on the few intersections that really need them.

    one last thing…..when are we going to put these clowns the run the city of palm coast on notice…..bad management city manager and bad council leadership….. it is all just a disgrace.

  36. Linda Morgan says:

    When in doubt…just stop! Let the people who think that moving to a small town means that you don’t have obey the traffic laws get tickets and let those who choose to pay close to $4.00 a gallon for gas to shop in Ormond instead of stopping at red lights go. I also would like to add that while a rear end collision costs more than a ticket, it is not as lethal as someone running a red light and slamming into a vehicle could be.

  37. Kevin says:

    Maybe after some people get rear ended enough becoase they slam on the brakes to avoid the city counsel red light ticket when the light is yellow someone will sue the city for the camaras or the flash at night that makes you allmost wreck . It’s not about safety it’s about we did not raise the mileage rate they can’t say it’s about the average city worker who might make 25,000 a year it’s about hey let’s over pay Landon we are so smart we should make more then the govenor .Then lets plant stuff everywhere I forgot .In time it will come out in the wash .I avoid the lights to avoid a wreck from people slamming on there brakes on yellow I would sooner shop in st.augustine .ITs worth the extra gas ps vote the city counsel out if your one mile over the speed limt you will get another ticket from thier red light camaras speeding the city needs money I’m sure it’s coming so if your friends are moving here or coming on vacation send them somewhere else this town is a joke

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