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Red light cameras designed to increase driver awareness

Posted on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm



Fred Hawkins Jr.
County Commission

A new era of traffic safety is about to begin at the most dangerous intersections in Osceola County.
Authorities will now use red-light safety cameras to enforce traffic laws and correct the dangerous and prevalent red-light running behavior that too often leaves innocent drivers and passengers injured.
Red-light running is preventable. The ultimate goal of the traffic safety enforcement program is to change driver behavior by increasing driver awareness and discouraging dangerous driving and red-light running. Our priority is to promote the safety and welfare of our residents by reducing the number of red-light running violations, and thus decreasing intersection crashes and injuries.
The Red-Light Safety Camera Program begins with a 30-day warning phase. During this time, authorities will review camera images of vehicles illegally entering the intersection. Violators will receive a warning notice, but no fine, during the introductory phase of the program.
July 16 will be the “go-live” date. Violations occurring on that day could result in a notice of violation being issued with a $158 fine. Vehicle owners may contest the fine with a hearing officer.
The first intersection at Pleasant Hill Road and Poinciana Boulevard will have two cameras – northbound and southbound – on Pleasant Hill Road. Cameras at nine other intersections are scheduled to be installed in August and October.
Risky driver behavior is the constant in all traffic crashes, and is the target for red-light safety camera programs. Osceola County selected the intersections for its program based on traffic volume and crash frequency.
Vehicles that enter an intersection on a yellow light are not photographed even if they are still in the intersection when the light changes to red. The technology is designed to document vehicle position with an active red light signal. Photographs are taken of the vehicle’s license plate, not the driver.
All the evidence is evaluated by the Sheriff’s Office, whose deputies verify that a violation did occur and determine whether a notice of violation should be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. The notice of violation provides its recipient with access to all the data reviewed by authorities.
Remember, the best way to avoid a violation is to stop when a light turns red.
Fred Hawkins Jr. is Osceola County
Commission chairman.