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Brooksville now has 13 red-light cameras at $158 a pop

BROOKSVILLE — For habitual red-light runners, the odds of getting caught are up a little this week with the activation of seven more red-light cameras at three high-volume Brooksville intersections.

Cameras are now installed at all four approaches at Cobb Road and Jefferson Street, at the eastbound approach of Broad Street on Wiscon Road, and at the northbound and westbound approaches to intersection of N Broad and E Jefferson streets.

The new installations bring to 13 the city's total number of red-light cameras. Previously, cameras were installed at three busy intersections along Broad Street, south of downtown.

Owned and operated by Sensys America, the cameras were approved by the Brooksville City Council a year ago, and to date have netted 5,157 citations, according to Brooksville police. Three more cameras are slated for activation within a couple of months, once the company gets approval from the state Department of Transportation.

The $158 citations, which are charged to the owner of the vehicle, earn the state $83 per violation, with the city and the company splitting the remaining $75. (Since May, when Sensys' first set of cameras began operation, the city's share of the funds would work out to roughly $190,000.) Under the terms of the contract, Sensys can receive up to $90,000 a month for each camera in operation — or up to $540,000 in a six-month period. The city keeps any additional revenue.

Brooksville originally installed cameras in 2008, but removed them in 2010 after the city was unable to reach an agreement with its previous camera vendor on how new state legislation would be applied to the program.

City officials have said the cameras were installed as a safety measure. But the cameras also have proven to be a lucrative revenue source, earning the city about $450,000 annually in the three years they were in operation.

Council members have still not decided how to spend the city's proceeds from the new red-light program. Some have suggested that the money be donated to driver safety programs while others support using it for capital improvements.

In a memo this week, City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha recommended delaying discussion about how to allocate the funds until February, so the revenues can be more accurately projected.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Brooksville now has 13 red-light cameras at $158 a pop 09/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 27, 2012 7:45pm]
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