Fort Myers City Council discusses red-light cameras at intersections
Controversial red light cameras may make a return to Southwest Florida. Fort Myers Police Dept. proposed the idea to the City Council on Monday afternoon. Collier County had these cameras, but they were taken down after studies found the technology did not help reduce crashes.
FMPD believes red light cameras will make the roads safer. Redflex, a traffic light camera company, wants $3,500 a month per camera. The proposal calls for 12 cameras placed at some fo the city’s most dangerous intersections. That would bring around $42,000 a month or $504,000 per year in revenue for Redflex.
But, the Fort Myers City Council is not convinced. Members want more information on rear-end crashes at red light camera intersections and input from other cities that have or had cameras. They were once sold as a way to make intersections safer, but the devices are now used in just a few cities nationwide.
Previously, several Southwest Florida areas had the camera, but took then down, including Collier County in 2013 and Clewiston in 2016. Although our area consistently rated as a dangerous place for pedestrians, studies showed these cameras do not make the intersections safer; in fact, the number of crashes goes up.
There have been several attempts to repeal it. Last year, the Florida House voted to ban them but didn’t make it past the Senate. If the technology ends up being approved, then the infraction could bring a base fine of $158 for running a red light at an intersection with the cameras.