Grace period ends for Mandarin red light cameras

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Starting at midnight Saturday, anyone caught by red light cameras at one busy Mandarin intersection will be getting a notice of violation in the mail.

The 30-day grace period is ending for the cameras at the intersection of San Jose Boulevard and Claire Lane.

There are now a total of 20 red light cameras around the city of Jacksonville. There's one camera at the northbound approach on San Jose and another at the southbound approach.

"I'm not a big fan of the red light cameras, but I do know every big city right now has them, so I guess we're one of the last to get them," said Bryan Chalmers, who works in Mandarin.

As of Thursday, there were 8,328 notices of violation issued since the first Jacksonville red light camera launched earlier this year. That number indicates there is a problem.

The intersections where red light cameras exist are known as the most dangerous intersections in the city. Chalmers agrees.

"Our business location at San Jose and Claire, there's a lot of wrecks here, so maybe it will help that out a little bit," he said.

Other drivers agree that something needed to be done about the drivers breaking the law.

"I get so mad out here. I think the people are crazy because they don't slow down," Mandarin commuter Debbie Veltri said.

Veltri says drivers rarely obey the 45 mph speed limit and that people drive recklessly out of frustration from congestion. Veltri is unsure if the red light cams will fix the problem.

"I don't see it really making a huge difference," she said.

If you run a red light and get a ticket, it will cost you $158.

Four more cameras have been recommended, all along Blanding Boulevard, but construction hasn't yet started on those cameras.

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