NPR red-light camera grace period ends June 15

July 22nd, 2011 by Staff

NEW PORT RICHEY – The grace period for red-light runners at some U.S. 19 intersections in New Port Richey is about to come to an end.

Starting June 15, a citation carrying a $158 fine will replace the written warnings that have been mailed to motorists who fail to obey traffic signals at the four intersections in the city with red-light cameras.

So far, roughly 1,500 warnings have been issued, according to Police Chief Jeffrey Harrington. The cameras went live May 12, beginning the monthlong grace period.

The five red-light cameras are at:

• Northbound U.S. 19 at Cross Bayou Boulevard.

• Southbound U.S. 19 at Main Street.

• Southbound U.S. 19 at Marine Parkway.

• Northbound and southbound U.S. 19 at Gulf Drive.

The city will get two additional cameras this year. They will monitor northbound U.S. 19 traffic at Trouble Creek Road and at Floramar Terrace.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions installed the cameras for the city. Under 2010 Florida legislation, ATS receives a flat fee to operate the system and the state and city share the fine revenue.

Signs at all intersections with active cameras notify drivers that the roadway is monitored. A bright flash goes off every time a red light is violated to illuminate the license plate on the offending vehicle for the camera.

Harrington said the roughly 1,500 violation warnings the five red-light cameras produced between May 12 and May 30 were more than he expected.

When a camera monitoring southbound U.S. 19 traffic at Ridge Road in Port Richey was installed in 2008, however, it produced 421 warnings during a monthlong test period. That compared to an average of roughly 300 warnings for each of the five New Port Richey cameras.

Still, 1,500 warnings in less than a month in New Port Richey are significant because city officers traditionally have averaged some 3,000 traffic citations issued for an entire year, Harrington said.


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