First red light cameras go up in Jax

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:54:23 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 09:02:22 PM EST

One Jacksonville intersection is becoming the first to be under the watchful eye of a camera that police will use to catch red light runners. Workers Monday morning began installing the camera at Southside Blvd and Baymeadows road, which police say is notorious for collisions more cameras will be placed at other intersections.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Commuting around town could soon cost drivers if they're not careful thanks to new red light cameras being put up Monday.

Though the first red light cameras in Jacksonville were being put up Monday morning, they won't be operational just yet.

Baymeadows Road and Southside Boulevard is the first of 25 intersections to be monitored by red light cameras. The sheriff says the most traffic crashes happen there, saying it was the No. 1 high frequency crash location in 2011.

"Right now we're in the education mode and that grace period is part of the education mode," Sheriff John Rutherford said. "We're going to send you a letter saying right here, 'You ran this red light. Don't do it again because pretty soon it's going to be live and it's going to cost you $158.'"

That's what drivers will owe after the 30-day grace period. If they run a red light, no matter who is driving their car, when they get the citation, they can go online and watch video footage captured by the camera. A uniformed officer will review each citation.

"Particularly when violators can go online and see themselves running the light six seconds before and six seconds after, that's pretty powerful stuff," Rutherford said.

"I think it's great because I've almost been hit once by someone who was running a red light," driver Linda Dan said. "Yeah, i think it's good. I'm happy about it."

The next cameras will go up on Atlantic Boulevard and Monument Road east and westbound, Beach and University boulevards east and westbound and University and Atlantic boulevards southbound.

"Anybody's going to feel concerned when they feel like they're on camera," said David Cawton, of AAA of North Florida. "So as long as people aren't being targeted, that sort of thing, or they feel like their privacy's being breached. I think that's going to be the main concern for folks here in Florida."

The city expects to make $1.5 million from red light camera fines this year. The $158 is split between the camera vendor Redflex, the city, the state and trauma centers in Florida.

A new online tool will help drivers figure out where and when the cameras are going up. It's at www.jaxsheriff.org.

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