Orange Park joins Fla. communities with red light cameras

30-day grace period begins

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - Across the United States, red light runners killed an average of 885 people and injured 165,000 each year over the last decade.

Florida was the third-most deadly state in the nation for red light running fatalities in 2010.

Now Orange Park joins more than 80 communities in the Sunshine State using a red light camera system.

Some drivers say the intersections where the town chose to put red light cameras have been problem intersections for a long time, and they are glad officials are taking action to stop red light runners.

"I go when it's green and stop when it's red, but that's what you're supposed to do," driver Barney Sullivan said.

"Personally, I've seen a couple. So I think it's a good thing to have that there," driver Jeff Hartson said.

Red light cameras went live in Orange Park Friday morning at the following intersections:

  • Park Avenue at Loring Avenue, north and southbound lanes
  • Park Avenue at Kingsley Avenue, north, south and turning lanes
  • Kingsley Avenue at Debarry Avenue, west and eastbound lanes

"Park and Kingsley had a couple T-bone crashes last year that I recollect, which are the worst and were due to red light runners," Police Chief Gary Goble said.

Red light safety cameras will take still pictures and video of red light running violators.

Some people are unsure about that idea.

"It's alright. I mean, I guess it's good, but bad too, either slamming on your brakes and someone rear ends you," driver Richard Hurley said.

"I have mixed opinions about the traffic cameras right now because the timing of the light always catches you right when you enter the intersection, and I have a problem with that," driver Matt Wilson said.

Warning citations with no fine will be issued to the vehicle's registered owner for 30 days. After 30 days, drivers can expect a ticket in the mail if they run a red light. It will cost $158.

"They have the ability to take it to court if they don't feel like they ran the red light. They have the ability to fight that citation," Goble said.

Police say the bottom line is the cameras are addressing a safety issue.

"The cameras are necessary because you can't post a police officer at every street corner to watch every red light," Goble said.

Each violation will be reviewed and approved by the Orange Park Police Department before being issued.

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