Ban the cam?
I'm tempted to join the cause, given the check I recently mailed off, for running a red light at the intersection of East Hillsborough Avenue and North 22nd Street in Tampa.
In the paperwork sent to me by the City of Tampa, you can see my car, clear as day, a blue Toyota framed against the backdrop of a brightly painted AMSCOT building, with three red traffic signals to the right as I make my turn to the left.
“Failure to comply with a steady red signal” set me back $158.
I could fight the violation notice and its subsequent fine, as I recall making that drive and telling my passenger, “I think I made it through, do you think there’s a camera there?”
Well, there was a camera there, and I didn't time it as well as I thought I had, and now that I’m $158 in arrears, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be a lot more conservative in my thinking when it comes to navigating yellow lights at intersections.
As for “Ban the Cam,” that’s the sign that protestors are seen carrying in the final seconds of the latest video posted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which is attached to this posting.
The county has red-light cameras at the following intersections:
- Fletcher Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
- Sligh and Habana avenues
- Brandon Town Centre and Brandon Boulevard
- Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road
- Waters Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway
- Waters Avenue and Anderson Road
(For the record, my ticket came from the City of Tampa, which has its own set of cameras installed.)
The sheriff's video is informative to view as you decide your own position on the county's Red Light Enforcement Program, which kicked off Dec. 29, 2009. According to a sheriff’s Web site posting, “deputies review each photograph and corresponding data and determine if there was a violation of Florida State Statute 316.075(1)(c)(1)."
At Brandon Patch, we often hear from readers opposed to the use of cameras to catch red-light violators and I am sure we will hear from them again with this posting.
To prepare for your own debate conclusions:
- Read more about the Ban the Cam movement.
- Visit online, as well, the county's "red for a reason" Web page, which explains the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, which became effective July 1, 2010.
- View four rounds of video highlights, as posted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
As for me, I wrote my check and vowed to be a bit more careful when it comes to red-light intersections, if for no other reason than while I might be in control of my actions, I cannot control the actions of other drivers.
From the looks of the video, it behooves us all to remember: "Let the driver beware."