ORANGE PARK, Fla. - The 30-day warning period is over for commuters in Orange Park. Tickets will now be issued at three intersections to drivers who run red lights.
The cameras are installed at U.S. 17 and Kingsley, Debarry and Kingsley, and U.S. 17 and Loring. Violators will be issued a $158 fine.
"It was a safety issue that came up at some of these major intersections that we have. We've had some major crashes at these intersections and of course a lot of the crashes are caused by red light runners so there was a tool out there to try to change that behavior and I think the red light cameras will do that," said Chief Gary Goble with the Orange Park Police Department.
About 70,000 people use Highway 17 to drive from Orange Park into Jacksonville on a daily basis. Goble is confident the cameras will make people slow down in general.
"A lot of times 60 or 70 mph is the norm coming through there, but when you're approaching an intersection that has a red light camera there's no way you can stop in time," said Goble. "So they have to slow down knowing the red light cameras are there in order to stop and we believe its actually changing the behavior."
The city commission had to approve the installation of red light cameras, and the ruling faced a lot of backlash, but Goble said the heat is worth it.
"Money making tools, big brother, that kind of thing you hear a lot of that. But I'm telling you it saves lives. And if it changes the behavior of people doing what they're supposed to do, and that's stop on red, then its worth it," said Goble.
The department contracts with a company to monitor the citations, but a police officer has to review the photos and video before a citation is issued.
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