JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The red-light cameras strewn across 41 traffic intersections in the River City will be no more come December, as the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has decided not to renew their contract with the camera vendors.
JSO Sheriff Mike Williams made the announcement Thursday during a budget hearing with City Council, who questioned him about rumors of getting rid of the cameras. Williams confirmed those rumors, stating that the cameras have been ineffective in reducing motor vehicle crashes.
“We don’t reduce crashes with red-light cameras,” Williams said to City Council members.
The red-light cameras were introduced in Jacksonville back in 2012, which Williams adopted from the previous sheriff. JSO wanted to provide crash-avoidance technology to intersections and the cameras were a part of that system.
The crash-avoidance technology detects when someone runs a red light and holds the other three lights red to prevent a crash. The lights then reset and traffic resumes as usual, Williams said in an interview with First Coast News.
Though Williams said drivers quickly adjusted to the cameras, crashes did not drop the way experts had hoped.
While the cameras will be coming down, that’s not to say JSO is condoning disregarding stop lights, the Sheriff said.
“We’re not seeing crash avoidance, we’re not saying it’s OK to run a red light,” Williams said.
Williams said JSO may revisit the technology again in the future once it works the way it is intended to. Until then, high-risk intersections will still be closely monitored by officers after the cameras are removed.
The cameras will come down Dec. 31. Until then, anyone nabbed will still have to pay the ticket.