You probably will be hearing lots about the debut of red-light cameras at Collier County’s busiest intersection — Pine Ridge and Airport-Pulling roads.
This is what you really need to know:
■ There will be a 60-day grace period. The notices that red-light runners will get in the mail until June will be only warnings. After that, the fee will be $125 — still cheaper than the $213 violators will pay for real tickets issued by real law-enforcement officers. Real tickets also nick you for penalty points.
■ The camera will be trained only on east-west traffic, 24/7.
■ You are OK if you enter the intersection when the light is yellow — even the light is red as you pass under it. If you enter the intersection when the light is red, unless there is an emergency vehicle on your butt you will be getting a bill.
■ “Intersections” stop and start at the white line where you are supposed to pull up and stop at red lights. Cops call them “stop bars.”
■ Alhough Collier County Sheriff’s Office officials insist they don’t know or care how much money the camera vendor (American Traffic Solutions of Arizona) or county will make, the vendor’s contract spells it out. The vendor gets $47 from each of the first 89 nabs of each month. After that, the vendor gets $27.50 for each of the next 60 and $17.50 per bust after that. The rest, sheriff’s officials say, goes to the county general fund.
Interesting questions as we head into this:
■ How public will these privately gathered photo finishes be? While mere suspects might bristle at having their pictures out there, you can be sure that cited drivers will want maximum access to records. Are they being treated like everyone else?
■ Appeal hearings before a county official, not a judge, ought to be fascinating. If the county proceeds as expected to televise them, stand by for some must-see TV.
■ And stand by for some gruesome evidence when motorists blow off the cameras and run a red light and cause a crash.
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Anyone else notice what a popular guy God was this past week?
His name was invoked by two people in need of extra help.
A heart-attack survivor, Lee Lustig, was quoted as saying: “Julie (his wife) and I were a team, with one third person. That was God.”
The Louisiana man who miraculously landed a private plane with his family aboard after its pilot died commented on initial reports that said six rather than five people were aboard: “If the media wants to erroneously report six souls onboard, so be it, because No. 6 was the good Lord himself.”
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Two weeks ago this column asked readers to identify nasty traffic patterns at shopping centers. The results:
“The Pine Ridge Crossings parking lot at the corner of Pine Ridge and Airport-Pulling roads. It’s awful! When I enter the lot, my brain goes on overload with all the different directions. I’m always avoiding collisions.” — Susan Gardner
“You really risk life, limb and automobile at the shopping center at the corner of Radio Road and Santa Barbara Boulevard.
Cars ignoring the directional arrows are a hazard everywhere, but this shopping center has a roadway running north and south (between Radio and a north entrance to the center) that has no stop signs, while there are several entrance ways that crisscross this roadway — and they have no stops signs, either!
“It’s an accident waiting to happen. And to make matters worse, this roadway that runs north and south is obscured at the crossings by plantings and hedges. You literally have to nose out to see if there’s traffic. I wonder if this traffic pattern were designed by a group of automobile body shops.” — Jim Weber
“Anyone who has traversed the Airport-Pulling Road exits from the Carillon shopping center on the east to the Target (Pine Ridge Crossings) center on the west takes life in hand. This is a disaster and has been for many years! Help, please. This one scares me.” — Mary Rita Carey
You can add yours by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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It was like something out of “The Daily Show.”
An invitation to a local travel agency’s presentation on Virgin Galactic space trips said the event would be hosted by staff members with titles such as “accredited space agent,” “senior travel consultant” and “space travel specialist.”
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The Seagate neighborhood south of Naples Grande and Clam Pass now boasts the finest neighborhood marker of them all.
It’s a fine stone monument with an added plus — a founding date that precedes Hurricane Donna.
Take that, newbies.