GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — If you drive through Green Cove Springs, you may know that red light cameras have been in place since 2011.
The City Council voted Tuesday night to keep them running for five more years.
On Your Side’s Troy Kless is digging into how much money these cameras generate for the city and why they stick with them.
“If you’re flying through, on your cell phone, not paying attention, they’re going to get you," driver Carl Hollifield said.
Running a red light is a risk that Hollifield avoids.
He knows where the cameras are along Highway 17 in Green Cove Springs, where the highway intersects with Houston Street, Harbor Road, and Ferris Street.
“You better stop because it’s not going to be yellow long,” Hollifield said.
If the camera catches you, it's a $158 ticket.
Tickets and red light camera programs generated over $506,000 of revenue in 2018, not including cost to law enforcement, according to the City’s public information officer.
Green Cove Springs police chief Derek Asdot says in a statement that he echoes the sentiment of city council members: the cameras are not about revenue, but driver safety.
Chief Asdot says the accidents at these intersections have decreased significantly.
That’s not the only improvement the City Council approved.
Enhanced license plate readers can help police find stolen vehicles, stolen tags, or vehicles with silver and amber alerts.
Chief Asdot told First Coast News that police can gather this information in real time and act on it.
Whether the cameras catch criminals or cars not stopping, Hollifield says the cameras can force drivers to be courteous.
“They know the cameras are there so the drivers are going to watch the speed limit and watch the lights,” Hollifield said.
The $158 fine goes towards the city’s general fund, the State of Florida Department of Revenue, local trauma centers and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.