More red light cameras going up in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four more red light cameras were put up Friday in Jacksonville.

They are on both sides of Beach Boulevard and St. Johns Bluff, going east at Beach Boulevard and San Pablo, and Gate Parkway and Southside. It's re-igniting a debate over just how effective the cameras are when it comes to safer streets.

"The cameras are going to help because drivers will be paying attention instead of just rushing through the red lights," said Melanie Montez. She says the cameras make her feel safer when driving.

Not everyone agrees. People like Brittany Johnson say the cameras make the roads more dangerous. She says that's because people will slam brakes at the intersections, in hopes of avoiding the almost $200 fine.

"It's doing the opposite of what it's supposed to do," she said.

Dr. David Forde is a UNF Professor and Chair of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department. He's done research on the effectiveness of the cameras. He says in the short term, they help.

"There's plenty of research that shows in the initial moments and months people will slow down," he said. "It's just like seeing a police car and slowing down," he added.

Dr. Forde says according to his research, the benefits don't last.

"In six months, people not care, notice, or be as cognizant of it, he said.

For a list of active and recommended red light camera locations, and more about the program, click here.


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