Thursday, June 11, 2009
Smile ! You're On Red Light Camera
For those of you in Palm Bay who rarely pay attention to whats going on, Back in January Your City Council approved the use of Red Light Cameras at certain intersections throughout the City. Police Chief Bill Berger was so happy he had a Boner most of the day. He was planning a paraglider patrol campaign on red light running, where the Palm Bay Police would swope down on the offenders with their paraglider and write the ticket, but this will make things so much easier. No one has to be there, No Officer No Parasail just the camera. Flash and Presto! a high resolution photo of red light runner.
I must say that I do approve of the idea because of the assholes who continue turning left 3, 4, 5 seconds after my light has turned green. I mean its not even close. The two places that I see the most blatant disregard for the red light is at Palm Bay and Babcock and Malabar at the I95 overpass. There is a Camera at Babcock and Palm Bay and I am sure it will be a large income producer as well as the camera they have placed at Emerson Drive and Minton lots of potential cash here as well. .
I did say I approve of the idea but there are a few details that leave me wondering if this is just the beginning of something bigger. This is how it all works: The City reached a 5 year agreement with a Company called Gatso USA . Gatso USA is a subsidiary of Gatsometer a Dutch Company Their specialty is Traffic enforcement via video. Gatso USA is based in Mass. The 5 year agreement calls for Gatso USA to set up and maintain all of the cameras at no cost to the City. Wait the deal gets even sweeter. Gatso USA reviews all of the infractions on the video and forwards the pictures to the Palm Bay police Dept. for review where the police approve or reject the infractions. Then Gatso processes the approved violations and issues the citation to the violator costing the Violator $125.00. Gatso USA makes $30 bucks on the deal and the City gets $95.00. Hey Mazziotti and Zonka think of the potential cash flow here. You two have got to be licking your chops. Gatso Brags that in their 50 years of photo enforcement they have never ever lost a court case or administrative hearing. Pretty impressive. Yet you will not receive points on your driving record for these violations captured on Photo. Don't ask me why not, but you don't. If a police officer writes you a ticket you get the points. If its smile your busted on red light camera...No Points. The first six months of these cameras being in operation you get the "get out of jail free card" because all you get in the mail is a warning not the bill demanding $125.00. When people start receiving these violations in the mailbox for $125.00 they will probably stop running the red lights and it has been shown that there are a lot less accidents at intersections across the USA after the cameras are installed. If the City wants, Gatso USA will also monitor speeding through the intersection or reckless driving. That's the part of the deal I do not like. once they start where do they stop its like taxes they just keep squeezing and squeezing.
Around the country people have used these cameras for fun and games. High School students would photograph their teachers license plates Print out a picture, tape it to their plate and run red lights on purpose causing the teachers to receive numerous violations.They were eventually busted. And what if your sister in law or someone else was borrowing your vehicle and gets a violation why should you have to pay for their violation? What if a City Vehicle is captured on film? Do you think a violation will be issued?
Here's a list of the intersections where the cameras are being or are installed:
Palm Bay and Minton roads
Minton Road and Emerson Drive
Minton and Malabar roads
San Filippo Drive and Malabar Road
Malabar Road and Babcock Street
Babcock Street and Palm Bay Road
So be careful and quit running red lights. If you do not Run the light you wont get the bill for $125.00. It should make the intersections safer once the violators
start getting violations in the mail. But there is always some dick who never learns. They are the ones who will kill you or your loved ones.