Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville to get red-light cameras

BROOKSVILLE — Beware of those busy intersections, Brooksville drivers. Cameras will soon be out there looking for red-light runners.

The City Council unanimously approved a measure Monday that will allow cameras to be installed at some of the city's busiest intersections. Brooksville becomes the latest municipality in the area to embrace the program, following Port Richey, which installed its first camera on March 19.

"It's great to know we have full support from our City Council," said police Chief George Turner, who pushed the proposal for the cameras. "A 5-0 vote is what we wanted. It shows that the program is definitely a worthwhile one."

The city would pay nothing to have the cameras installed, according to the proposal. Instead, American Traffic Solutions, a Scottsdale, Ariz., company, would install and care for the cameras and make its money by taking $40 from every $125 ticket issued to a violator.

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 will view the video and ultimately determine if the driver broke the law. If so, the driver would be sent a ticket, which would be a civil, not criminal, citation.

City officials will work with American Traffic Solutions to determine which intersections could use the cameras. Turner has already recommended five intersections to be considered: U.S. 41 and State Road 50A; U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road; State Road 50A and Buck Hope Road; State Road 50A and Cobb Road; and State Road 50 and U.S. 98.

Greg Parks, regional vice president of ATS, said Monday that it would be at least 90 days before the first camera was installed in the city.

The council's unanimous vote ended nearly two months of debate about the need for cameras in Brooksville.

Mayor David Pugh and council member Joe Bernardini, in particular, initially raised concerns about whether the cameras could truly stop habitual offenders from running red lights. Two motorists' rights organizations also raised issues about the cameras, pointing to a recent study from a professor at the University of South Florida that concluded the cameras increase crashes and injuries as drivers slam on their brakes to avoid a ticket.

But on Monday, Pugh told the council he had been sold on the program.

"We've gotten away from doing what is right and what we're taught in driving school," Pugh said. The program "pretty much has brought me full circle. I now fully support this."

Bernardini voted for the measure but added a provision that would allow the council to review the program six months after the installation of the first camera.

"I want to … make sure that it's working," Bernardini said. "We should keep an eye on that."

In other action Monday night, the council voted 4-1 to approve an application to the Florida Department of Transportation for a $150,000 grant for additional landscaping along U.S. 41 and State Road 50/50A. Pugh cast the only vote against the application, expressing concern about spending more money on landscaping.

Joel Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or 754-6120.

>>Fast facts

The first five?

George Turner, Brooksville's police chief, recommended that these five intersections be considered for red light cameras:

• U.S. 41 and State Road 50A

• U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road

• State Road 50A and Buck Hope Road

• State Road 50A and Cobb Road

• State Road 50 and U.S. 98.

Brooksville to get red-light cameras 04/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2008 6:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What to expect from the Florida Orchestra's 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' show


    With just a few short tings from the celesta, a small piano-style instrument, and you're instantly transported to Harry Potter's wizarding world.

    Courtesy of the Straz Center
  2. Police: Boy, 12, burglarized Melrose Elementary during Hurricane Irma


    ST. PETERSBURG — A 12-year-old boy is facing a felony charge after police say he burglarized Melrose Elementary while the school was closed for Hurricane Irma.

    Melrose Elementary at 1752 13th Ave. S in St. Petersburg was burglarized while the school was closed for Hurricane Irma. A 12-year-old boy has been charged, police said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. How Jameis Winston's turnovers doomed the Bucs again


    The Bucs' rise or fall is based on the play of quarterback Jameis Winston. His failure to take care of the football was arguably the biggest factor in their 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

    Jameis Winston has turned the football over 25 times in 17 road games. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  4. Wrenching photos show hurricane battered Puerto Rico on brink of crisis


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — As life in Puerto Rico grinds on nearly a week after Hurricane Maria knocked out all the power, most of the water and left people waiting in excruciating lines for fuel, Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said the island was on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis" and it was up to Congress to …

    Residents bathe in a natural spring in the hill town of Toa Alta, Puerto Rica, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. As life in Puerto Rico grinds on nearly a week after the Category 4 storm knocked out all the power, most of the water and left people waiting in excruciating lines for fuel, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Monday that the island was on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis." [Victor J. Blue | New York Times]
  5. New 'Game of Thrones' concert experience coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa


    More music is coming.

    A new, live Game of Thrones concert experience is coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Sept. 21, 2018, the venue announced today. That may seem like a long way off, but with no new season on HBO's immediate horizon, that's probably the next taste of Game of Thrones you're going to get for a …