The daily commute can be stressful. A lot of drivers are in a rush to get to work on time, which might lead to reckless behaviors like running red lights that can put others at risk. Palm Beach County commissioners have decided not only to keep the traffic cameras that issues automatic tickets for traffic violations at intersections but they’ve opted to add more cameras.
Opponents of the traffic cameras question the fairness of automatic ticketing. However, after hearing safety-based arguments for the cameras, the commissioners decided in favor of keeping the cameras running.
The Usefulness of Traffic Cameras
Traffic cameras at intersections capture drivers running red lights and are meant to discourage the dangerous traffic infractions that lead to serious injuries.
Melissa Wandall, a women whose husband Mark was killed in 2003 by a driver who ran a red light, encouraged lawmakers not to do away with the cameras, according to the Sun-Sentinel. She shared her belief that her husband might have been alive today had there been cameras in place.
“The [cameras] reduce the risk and they save lives. Life is fragile. …People are making bad decisions,” Wandall stated, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The commissioners agreed to not use the cameras to issue tickets when drivers fail to come to a complete stop before a right turn on red, and the cameras will have a half-second grace period. The cameras will only be used to issue tickets for the more serious violations that potentially lead to serious accidents.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess R. Santamaria summarized the commission’s stance: “Red-light camera [enforcement] reduces serious injuries and deaths. That’s the only reason to continue,” he said according to the Sentinel.
Cameras in Palm Beach County
The county has 17 cameras that were put into place in 2011 at eight intersections including:
- Eastbound & Westbound Palmetto Park Road at Powerline Road;
- Southbound Powerline Road at Palmetto Park Road;
- E/W Atlantic Avenue at Job Road;
- E/W Hypoluxo Road at Military Trail;
- Westbound Lake Worth Road at Military Trail; and
- E/W Lantana Road at Jog Road.
The cameras are run by American Traffic Solutions, which receives a portion of all the money collected from ticket payers, about $700,000 to date, reports the Sun-Sentinel. Some cities, including West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, also have their own cameras. Running a red light will mean a $158 fine, which might be enough to deter drivers from the risky practice of running the lights.
Using Camera Footage as Evidence
If you are involved in an accident, traffic camera footage can be used as evidence in court. If a driver was caught on tape breaking the law that in turn caused the accident, he or she can be held legally liable for any damages others sustain as a result of the actions.
If you were in an injury crash, talk to a local attorney about your case to determine your options:
- discuss issues of fault;
- help you collect video footage; and
- build a case in your favor to present to the court or insurance companies.
For legal counsel in South Florida, call our team at Chalik & Chalik. We can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with you at your convenience to discuss your case. Contact our car accident attorneys today at 855-529-0269 or use our contact form.