Red light cameras coming down in Gulfport

GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — They sit on poles at busy intersections, watching for drivers to dash through red lights. The red light cameras snap a picture which can result in a $158 fine when sensors detect a violation.

Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson said his city will say, ” bye-bye” to the red light cameras, after residents voiced their concerns loud and clear.

“Over the 200-plus calls and contacts that I’ve had since we had the contract in place, you can imagine none of those have been, ‘Hey these are great’,” said Mayor Henderson.

8 On Your Side found statewide stats that show accidents at red light camera intersections are actually up 15 percent. Incapacitating injuries are up 29 percent, and pedestrian and bicyclist crashes are up 17 percent.

“I’m glad they’re finally seeing the truth in that cameras are not about safety. They were sold to them about money” said Matt Florell, a red light camera opponent.

While several Bay Area communities, like Tampa, Clearwater and Hillsborough County still have the cameras, others have yanked them down.

“I’m very glad to see them going away. And now that the truth is coming out, by seeing the real data, we’re going to see them disappear from more and more Florida cities” said Florell.

He doesn’t like the process to contest red light camera tickets or the way some police departments issue red light turn violations and some don’t.

For the Mayor, the answer is simple. “When you got that kind of public outcry, see ya later” said Henderson.

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