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 equipment.
Palm Coast’s decision not to settle a lawsuit against it had looked like a mistake once the Supreme Court ruled red-light cameras illegal, until the plaintiff died and was not replaced on the lawsuit, allowing the city to slither out of the it.
The Florida Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal on a red-light camera case with a direct bearing on Palm Coast’s traffic-enforcement program. Five justices concurred in turning down the appeal, without explanation, as is customary when the court turns down a case.
While the restrictive proposal cleared its latest committee, 7-3, the bill’s only surviving measures would require cities to send our red-light camera notices by certified mail, and to use revenue for public safety programs.
A divided council still disagrees on the red-light cameras’ value. The city is being sued, but says the payout, should there be one, will be manageable.
The proposal and one like it in the Senate would further complicate Palm Coast’s troubled red-light camera program and its relationship with ATS, the private company running the local scheme. Right-turn on red tickets generate the majority of revenue.
The city would also reduce all operating cameras from 43 to just five. But it would also see its revenue per camera drop, from the current $700 per month to $350 per month. The city’s revenue from the cameras would drop from $361,000 to $21,000.
After coming close to suspending its red-light camera [program, the Palm Coast City Council has retreated, again exposing a willingness to do its camera vendor’s bidding before looking after its residents’ interests.
Fearful of a lawsuit from ATS, its red-light camera provider. the Palm Coast City Council says it would reduce the cameras from 43 to five, but not eliminate them, even if it means ending all its revenue from the cameras but preserving that of ATS.
The Palm Coast City Council is considering suspending–but not ending–its red-light camera program until courts rule more conclusively on the legality of the system.