JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - This new year will bring a new addition to many intersections around Jacksonville: red light cameras.
In less than two weeks, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is expected announce where the first five of 25 cameras at the city's busiest intersections will go up starting later this month.
JSO is hoping the cameras will cut the number of fatal accidents in half.
Last summer, the City Council authorized JSO to use cameras catch red-light runners.
"I think it'll be a good thing, cause people to not get hit in the middle of the road and generate revenue for the city, which they drastically need," driver Sergio Reduga said.
Each ticket will be $158, but JSO says signs will go up in advance to warn drivers. And for the first month the cameras are up, drivers will be mailed a warning if they run the light.
After that grace period, the city expects violations caught on camera to bring in $1.5 million this year.
"If the purpose is to improve the traffic or security, that's fine," driver Morteza Yavari said. "But if the purpose is for them to make more money, then I don't like it."
The city of Green Cove Springs has used red light cameras on a smaller scale since 2011 and has brought in more than a half-million dollars for the city.
For drivers in Jacksonville, they want to keep their money in their pockets, not the city's.
"I just graduated college about a year ago, so I'm still in a new job, so I don't want to have any extra bills," driver Lierin Grant said. "I don't run the red lights now, but I will definitely think twice about cutting it close."
JSO says the cameras won't mean an automatic ticket. An officer will review every citation issued as a result of a red light camera.
There is some concern that the new red light cameras may cause more accidents, but police in Green Cove Springs said they haven't had any accidents related to the cameras. Many express concern about rear-end crashes because people may be stopping to avoid running the light. But police there say the crashes they've had at intersections haven't been rear-end collisions.
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