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Red-light cameras multiply in W.P./Maitland

Cameras record travelers who run the red light at the intersection of Maitland Avenue and Marion Way.

Cameras record travelers who run the red light at the intersection of Maitland Avenue and Marion Way.

Jenny Andreasson

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Cameras go up

Monitored intersections:

Maitland Avenue and Marion Way

Horatio Avenue and Highway 17-92

Lake Avenue and Highway 17-92

Maitland Boulevard and Keller Road

Howell Branch Road and Temple Trail

Howell Branch Road and Temple Drive

Aloma Avenue and Lakemont Avenue

Future locations:

Maitland Boulevard and Maitland Avenue (November)

Maitland Boulevard and Lake Destiny Drive

Maitland Boulevard and Interstate 4

Orange Avenue and Highway 17-92

Fairbanks Avenue and Highway 17-92

Lee Road and Highway 17-92

There are now seven intersections with red-light cameras in Winter Park and Maitland with plans to add six more.

Maitland Boulevard at Keller Road is the most recent addition to the area’s growing red-light camera lineup. Since going live Sept. 29, that camera issued more than 1,500 tickets, Maitland Police Lt. John Schardine said.

That intersection and the three others in Maitland — Maitland Avenue and Marion Way, Horatio Avenue and Highway 17-92 and Lake Avenue and Highway 17-92 — issued 2,400 tickets in October, Schardine said.

Winter Park’s first cameras went online in February on Howell Branch Road at Temple Trail and Temple Drive and have nabbed 2,278 violators to date. The city’s third camera, which went live on Sept. 3 at Aloma Avenue and Lakemont Avenue, has issued 332 tickets, Winter Park Police Deputy Chief Art King said.

More on the way

On Wednesday, an electronic sign went up at Maitland Boulevard and Maitland Avenue to warn motorists that that a red-light camera will go live there later this month.

The Florida Department of Transportation has green lit two other Maitland intersections for cameras — Maitland Boulevard at Lake Destiny Drive and Maitland Boulevard at the Interstate 4 overpass.

“We get a lot of bad T-bones there,” Schardine said of the I-4 location.

In Winter Park, construction will start “any week now” on its remaining three intersections: Highway 17-92 at Orange Avenue, Fairbanks Avenue and Lee Road, King said.

There was a backlog of red-light camera applications at FDOT after the Legislature passed the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, legitimizing the camera programs, Schardine said. That could explain the influx of cameras going up in the last few months.

“They had 100 or 200 (red-light camera) requests on their desk just for this part of Central Florida,” he said.

There have been efforts in the Legislature to repeal the statute, which opponents say is unconstitutional. So far, it has stood up to challenges in court, Schardine said.

The numbers

Did you know?

While a red-light ticket is a code violation, it turns into a criminal violation — including points on the driver’s license — if it’s not paid within 30 days.

In Maitland, you can legally turn right on red after coming to a complete stop and as long as you make the right turn in a prudent and careful manner.

Winter Park has netted $104,536 since Febrary after paying its vendor, Gatso USA, and the state. The state receives $83 per $158 fine. The remaining revenue is split between the vendor and the city.

Maitland pays Gatso $9,200 per month to run its program. From January through June 30, Maitland’s ticket revenue at Maitland Avenue and Marion Way was $117,394. Out of that, $61,669 went to the state; $53,716 went to the vendor; and $1,486 went to a law enforcement-training fund. The city was left with $523 to add to its general fund.

In the new budget year, which began Oct. 1, Maitland has projected it will bring in $1.3 million in red-light camera revenue.

Safety first

But officials stress that it’s not all about the revenue — there were 10 accidents at Maitland Avenue and Marion Way in the two years leading up to the red-light camera’s installation. Since January, there’s been one accident, Schardine said.

Maitland City Councilman Phil Bonus, who admits to being one of three Council members who have been nabbed by the city’s first red-light camera, said the program is a win-win.

“I can’t think of a better item that produces greater safety and supports the city’s budget,” he said.