County Gives Red Light Cameras Green Light
Red light cameras are getting the green light in Miami-Dade, though one commissioner frets over how long the yellow signal lasts.
Officials aim for bids from vendors who would install cameras for the county and are putting the brakes on cities that want their own red light cameras on county-run roads.
At a Public Safety and Animal Services Committee meeting last week, Commissioner Sally Heyman asked administrators to step on the gas and get cameras clicking three years after commissioners OK’d them and then decided to stall.
"This is a safety issue first and foremost for me,"Â she said.
In fact, no commissioner even mentioned the $158 fines cameras generate from violators. Those funds would be split among the state, the county and the vendors, who usually install cameras at their own cost in order to get the fees.
But while cameras were first approved in July 2010 and Deputy Mayor Genaro "Chip"Â Iglesias told the committee it passed on second reading in January 2011, state laws changed after the county drafted a request for proposals for cameras and an updated request based on new market data is needed.
A request is expected to go to vendors in three to four months, he said.
Also changed – this time by the commission – is what infractions to fine. Commissioners voted in the interim to remove a charge for right-turn violations.
About 20 county municipalities run their own red light cameras. Ms. Heyman asked that the county Public Works Department keep cities in the future from installing cameras on roadways in their boundaries that the county controls. Pinecrest has been seeking cameras on US 1.
Delays on shrinking yellow light time are "very controversial in our community,"Â said Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. Mr. Iglesias said the county’s system has timing well in hand.
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