Red-light cameras are coming back at five North Miami Beach intersections.
The City Council authorized the move Tuesday but didn’t set a date to activate the cameras. Assistant City Manager Mac Serda said via email there will be a 30-day warning period.
In 2009, the city had two red light cameras. But they deactivated them in 2010 after a state law went into effect requiring cities to enact an ordinance to use red-light cameras, and to put them under state regulation, not local.
The city has amended its contract with American Traffic Solutions to comply with the new law.
After reviewing accident statistics, the city is adding red-light cameras at three intersections, in addition to the two previous ones. They are:
• North Miami Beach Avenue and Northeast 10th Avenue (previous)
• Northeast 163rd Street and Northeast 18th Avenue (previous)
• Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 163rd Street
• Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 172nd Street
• Northeast Sixth Avenue and Northeast 167th Street
ATS also conducted a study, according to city documents, and estimates seven or eight violations a day at each intersection for straight and left-turn violations (not right turns on red, which won’t activate the cameras.).
After subtracting ATS’ program costs of about $4,750 a month for each camera, the city expects to bring in about $392,148 a year from violations caught by the cameras.
The city is also expected to hire two community service officers to perform tasks such as reviewing footage from the cameras and attending court hearings once the cameras are active. Factoring in their salary and benefits, the city expects to bring in $290,148 a year, according to city documents.
Tickets from the red light cameras will be $158 each. Of that, $75 will go to the city, $70 to the state, $10 to the Department of Health Administrative Trust fund and $3 to the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund.
“I really support this issue because I really do think a lot of us do become extremely cautious when you go ahead and you notice an area where there are these camera,” said Councilwoman Marlen Martell. “I just think it’s a really great safety precaution. I drive 163rd Street every single day and Sixth Avenue and 163rd Street I see, a lot of times, where you’re just really going around looking, saying, ‘Where is the cop at this moment?’ because people really aren’t driving safely. I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.”
Martell said she believes the cameras will result in better driving and increase safety.
“Having the safeguard in our city, I believe, is going to help in many different ways,” Martell said.
Councilwoman Beth Spiegel and Councilman Philippe Derose opposed the resolution.
“I know this is something that will generate a lot of resources for many cities throughout the state of Florida,” Derose said. “However, I don’t think there is a need for us to reinstate red light cameras in our city.”