BROOKSVILLE — The city's first six red-light cameras seem to be finding their mark.
As of Friday, 305 citations had been issued to red-light runners captured on six cameras at three intersections on Broad Street (U.S. 41) — at Wiscon Road, Cortez Boulevard and Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard.
The cameras have gone live during the past two weeks, and more are on the way.
According to figures released last week by the Brooksville Police Department, an additional 226 violations are currently under review by the department.
Police Chief George Turner said he was a bit surprised by the large number of violations issued by the camera vendor, Sensys America Inc. But he also believes the cameras could act as a valuable deterrent to wrecks along the busy commercial corridor on the city's south side.
"Our hope is that as people become aware of the cameras, they will be more cautious," Turner said.
Under the agreement approved last fall by the Brooksville City Council, Sensys will earn a maximum of $4,500 each month from every camera it installs. Each $158 citation issued will be split, with the state getting $83 and the remainder shared equally by the city and the camera contractor.
When the cameras catch a vehicle running a red light, the vehicle owner will be mailed a ticket. Drivers making slow right-hand turns on red lights will not be ticketed.
Owners have 30 days to decide how to respond.
If they pay the $158 by check, in person or online, their driving records will not reflect the incident. They may also choose to challenge the citation in traffic court.
All told, the city could add up to $602,721 annually to its coffers if projections are met. The council has yet to decide how it will spend the extra revenue.
In coming weeks, more cameras will be added as the state Department of Transportation approves permits.
According to Turner, the contract between the city and Sensys calls for up to 20 cameras and gives the company the authority to target the intersections where they will be placed.
So far, the company has submitted applications for the following intersections: Cobb Road and Jefferson Street, and Jefferson Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
Other intersections planned, but for which applications have not been submitted, include: Cortez Boulevard and Buck Hope Road (near the entrance to Publix), Jefferson Street and Broad Street, and Broad Street and the entrance to the South Plaza (Winn-Dixie) shopping center.
This is the city's second red-light camera program.
When Brooksville originally installed cameras in 2008, they proved to be a lucrative revenue source, earning the city about $450,000 annually in the three years they were in operation.
The cameras were removed in 2010, however, after the city was unable to reach an agreement with its camera vendor on how new state legislation would be applied to the program.
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.