Local drivers don’t miss red light cameras
By Haylee Bell
Special to the Outlook
Tallahassee drivers have taken red-light cameras off their worry list since last August. But that hasn’t stopped drivers from expressing their concerns or relief over the removal of cameras from some of the city’s busiest intersections.
Although drivers such as Nikita Wiggin expressed their frustration with the cameras, she acknowledged that the cameras have reduced the number of accidents. However she is glad that they’ve been taken down.
“Well, I didn’t agree with them at first, but on the other hand it did keep people from running the red light,” Wiggins said. “However, there were glitches with the cameras. It was more trouble than good.”
Hope Williams had a different view. She agreed that the red-light cameras encourage drivers to take precautions at intersections.
“I think red-light cameras have a real impact on the way people drive,” said Williams.
“I, for example, tend to be overly cautious about stopping when the light turns yellow when I know a camera is at an intersection. So given that I support having cameras if the intention is to influence drivers to practice safe driving.”
That’s exactly why the City of Tallahassee decided to start the red light camera safety program in 2010.
City officials decided to put up 19 red-light cameras at seven intersections with the highest traffic violations and collisions as an initiative to decrease the red-light violations and accidents. Drivers that were caught had to pay a $158 fine.
The cameras were mounted at some of the busiest intersections, including: Tennessee and Monroe streets, Killearn Center Boulevard at Capital Circle Northeast, Ocala Road at Tennessee Street. Other areas were Capital Circle Northwest at West Tennessee Street, Apalachee Parkway at Magnolia Drive, Capital Circle Southeast at Apalachee Parkway and Capital Circle Northeast at Mahan Drive.
Although the cameras weren’t popular with everyone, they produced some positive results before the contract between the City of Tallahassee and the company that provided the cameras was discontinued almost a year ago.
At that point city officials had seen a significant drop in red light violations to warrant the discontinuation of the cameras.