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Brooksville's red-light cameras up for vote

BROOKSVILLE — The Brooksville City Council will consider approving a contract tonight with American Traffic Solutions to install red-light cameras at some of the city's busiest intersections.

If the measure is adopted, the cameras could be in place within about 60 days, said Brooksville police Chief George Turner.

"The contract is in final form," said Turner, who has pushed for the proposal over the past couple of months. "It's been approved by our attorneys and the ATS attorneys. Now it's up to the (council members) to give it the final okay."

The city would pay nothing to have the cameras installed. Instead, ATS would install and care for the cameras and make its money by taking $40 from every $125 ticket issued to violators.

Motorists who run red lights would be photographed by the camera twice, as the vehicle approaches the light and then crosses the intersection. The cameras would also shoot a video, which would be available for the violator to view online.

A police officer would view the video and ultimately determine whether the driver broke the law. If so, the driver would be sent a ticket — a civil, not criminal, citation — similar to a parking ticket, with no points imposed against a license.

City officials, including Turner and City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha, have recommended that the council approve the measure. There appears to be little resistance; on April 21, the council unanimously approved a measure that would allow the cameras to be installed.

Brooksville would become the latest municipality in the area to embrace the program, following Port Richey, which installed its first camera March 19.

Once the contract is approved, city officials would work with American Traffic Solutions to determine which intersections get the cameras. Turner has already recommended five for consideration: U.S. 41 and State Road 50A, U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road, SR 50A and Buck Hope Road, SR 50A and Cobb Road, and SR 50 and U.S. 98.

There will also be an extensive public relations and education campaign before the cameras are installed, and intersections with the cameras would have warning signs.

"ATS is excited that so many communities are choosing our company," said Josh Weiss, a spokesman for the Scottsdale, Ariz., company, without getting into specifics of the deal with Brooksville. "The results from the program are just wonderful."

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Brooksville's red-light cameras up for vote 05/18/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:30pm]
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