DAVIE (CBS4) – Red light cameras are getting the green light — again — in Davie.
And it’s for a green reason but not the one you might think.
The town’s council voted 3-2 Wednesday night to maintain its’ contract with the camera’s vendor — American Traffic Solutions.
But the deciding factor was not the money the cameras will bring the town but the money the town could be on the hook for if it canceled the million dollar contract.
“My concern at this point — and strictly my concern at this point — is a lawsuit,” Mayor Judy Paul said during the discussion.
All but one council member raised concerns about the contract — it contains hidden fees — or the cameras — they will cost the town more than $75,000 per month to maintain.
Council member Marlon Luis said the cameras will put a dent in drivers’ wallets.
“This is about making money,” Luis told the council. “That’s what this is about. This is a bad deal.”
A representative from American Traffic Solutions (ATS), Michael McAlister, told the council the company would consider the town to be in breach of contract if they put the brakes on the 3-year pact.
The town’s attorney recommended maintaining the contract, saying ATS re-worked the deal to give the town 6 months of the income from the cameras. The town agreed to study the traffic and safety data for 6 months then decide whether to keep the cameras in place.
After the meeting, McAlister said the town would not be disappointed.
“This program is about safety,” McAlister told reporters. “What’s it’s about is reducing accidents. It’s about reducing fatalities.”
We spoke to several Davie residents who saw the pros and cons of the cameras.
“I think it’s a deterrent,” Steve Falzact said. “People are constantly running red lights.”
“When they started making money off them — charging people for tickets, violations — I don’t like them,” said John Barron.
Ten cameras in Davie will start catching red light runners Thursday. Six more cameras will come on line soon.
For a month, violators will receive a warning. In mid-September violators will start receiving fines of $158.