Red light cameras up and running in Palatka

Drivers pictured running red lights will be tagged with $158 fine

PALATKA, Fla. - The city of Palatka on Friday began operating red light cameras at four major intersections.

The intersections are St. Johns Avenue at State Road 19; U.S. Highway 17 at 19th Street; U.S. Highway 17 at Ninth Street; and State Road 20 at Palm Avenue.

Driver Jacob White was unaware the system went into effect Friday.

"I hope it didn't catch me a while ago," he said.

Anyone who is pictured running a red light at either of the four intersections will receive a fine of $158.

"You have 30 days to pay it," said David Parsons, of the Palatka Police Department. "If you pay it, that's it. That doesn't go on your driving record. If you decide not to pay it, it will be turned in to a uniform traffic citation."

Not only do the cameras take photos, they're designed to take video. But not every driver is convinced the quality will be any good.

"You can't tell who's driving, and you have to defend yourself without any proof that it's actually you driving. So I don't like it," Driver Larry Till said.

It's unclear what impact the cameras could have because the city just started the operation, but many drivers say they'll pay more attention the next time they approach the traffic lights.

"Well, I'm going to be cautious, I'm going to be cautious, and I'll tell anybody that I know of to be cautious," White said.

Depending on how effective the cameras prove to be, the Police Department says it's possible more could be installed over time.

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