Each week we will be asking the candidates the questions YOU'RE asking.
|Week 6||Seat 3 Candidates||Seat 4 Candidates|
|Bill Arrowsmith||Kyle Becker||Young Kim|
| I have been a proponent of red light cameras since inception purely for the safety of our citizens. I feel that initially it was abused specifically on the right on red decisions and have heard fewer complaints on those citations recently.
The question could be resolved in the Legislature in the next couple of months as SB 168 has already passed the State Transportation Committee (4/3) and is under review currently in HB 4027. These bills call for the repeal of the red light camera law and if passed would become a moot point as to the city continuing the program.
From the loss of income to the city issue I have been assured that we would not be affected irreparably.
I feel that it has made many of us safer drivers and the best way to be guaranteed that you do not receive a citation is to “STOP”.
|I think it's a good conversation to have by understanding how we got to where we are, what the program is hoping to accomplish, and how to quantify its success.
In 2006 when Apopka first entertained red light cameras, Chief Vavrek’s reason for wanting to implement the program was to have a means for enforcement to allow more man-hours back to the streets. At the time, there was a high volume of violations (75 in a 3 hour period) at the intersection of Park and Main with a portion leading to accidents (24 over that past year).
If the program is truly meant for safety purposes, and if we use the numbers above, 24 accidents over a year, when there is roughly 75 violations each time the officers monitored the intersection. Assume a very conservative 75 violations a week, and the accident rate is less than 1% of violations. In 2014, there were still 22,283 red light violations issued by Apopka, and some studies suggest that red light cameras actually increase the incidents of non-injury accidents.
With the Florida Supreme Court recently looking at municipalities’ use of American Traffic Solutions, a vendor who reviews violations and issues citations, the requirement to use city resources may lead to a higher cost of enforcement.
At the end of the day, we need to have a clear reason (other than a revenue source) to why the city needs the cameras, and success measures in place to know if having cameras meets those needs.
| The role of an elected official is to represent its constituency. Elected officials should fashion all policies according to the will of the people. I will support their decisions whether they decide to take the red light cameras down or not. However, as a concerned Apopka businessman, I believe we should take these cameras down.
My concern is based upon the notion that these cameras are bad for tourism and business. Once a nonresident of Apopka gets cited for a red light citation, it makes the city appear unfriendly. We must make the city as attractive as possible to those who visit Apopka.
Proponents of the red light cameras will state that they have placed them in the city for the safety of their citizens, but we must truly examine if this is the case. It can be quite confusing at times, because some studies state that red light cameras increase accidents while other studies state the opposite. Due to this conundrum I propose an independent neutral study be conducted to lay this safety argument to rest.
By conducting a study it validates that the city has not placed these cameras for purpose of simply driving up its revenue.