NAPLES ― Red light running cameras are nabbing thousands of drivers across Collier County. Before you get caught, here are 10 things to know about red light cameras.
1. How do they work?
The cameras take three photos and a 12-second video of your vehicle, which officials review before issuing a citation.
2. Who decides when to issue a citation?
The cameras are operated by an outside vendor, American Traffic Solutions, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. ATS flags potential violations for the Collier County Sheriff's Office, which ultimately decides what merits a citation.
3. What happens if you get a citation?
If you get a citation, it will cost you $62.50 for the first one, $75 for a second and $100 for a third offense. Think that's expensive? Collier County Commissioners recently voted to reduce the fines from $125 a piece. If you received a citation before the fine change, you will not receive a refund.
4. How do you contest a citation?
If you want to contest a citation, you may do so at a special hearing. But, keep in mind, if your citation is not dismissed, you will face an additional $50 fee for contesting it.
5. What if you get a citation in the mail, but you weren't driving the car?
It is important to note the cameras take photos of the vehicle, not the driver. Using the license plate information, citations are issued to the vehicle's owner.
6. Is running through a red light treated the same as prematurely turning right on red?
Running through a red light is treated the same as prematurely turning right on red. Drivers will receive the same citation for both circumstances.
7. Just how long is the traffic light yellow?
The length of time a traffic light is yellow varies from intersection to intersection across the county, but it will be yellow for a minimum of 4 seconds.
8. How many people are receiving citations?
Thousands of drivers in Collier County have already received citations. There were 3,730 citations issued in August and 2,138 in September.
9. Where are the cameras?
As you drive around the county, there are currently 12 red-light running cameras. They are located heading eastbound and westbound at Pine Ridge and Airport-Pulling roads, northbound on Airport-Pulling Road and Davis Boulevard, eastbound and westbound at Pine Ridge and Livingston roads, northbound and eastbound at Airport-Pulling and Immokalee roads, northbound
and eastbound at Collier Boulevard and Golden Gate Parkway, eastbound at Immokalee and Livingston roads, eastbound at Pine Ridge Road and U.S. 41 and westbound at Vanderbilt Beach Road and U.S. 41.
More cameras will be coming to Collier in the future. The county Transportation Services Division says plans are to add about 12 more cameras within the next year.
10. What about those other cameras above the traffic signals across the county?
If you are wondering about the cameras that look like periscopes located above traffic signals at intersections across the county, those have nothing to do with red-light running. In fact, they are not cameras at all, but sensors that monitor traffic flow. The county’s transportation department also has another type of camera for traffic monitoring, but it is not used to monitor red-light running.