While other cities around South Florida are changing or scrapping their red light camera programs, Pembroke Pines is bringing them back.
A scaled-down program returns starting today with eight cameras monitoring six intersections, down from 22 that were a part of the original program.
"Red light running is a significant problem," said Pembroke Pines Police Chief Dan Giustino. "The city has made a commitment to make the intersections safer."
During the previous program, which ended in 2013 due to cost-cutting measures, the city saw the number of violations cut down by a third over a three year period. The next year, thee Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) showed red-light running resulted in 709 fatalities and an estimated 126,000 injuries.
More than half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in other vehicles who were hit by red light runners. Another 2016 study by the IIHS showed that intersections with red-light cameras showed a decrease in red-light running crashes by 21%, and 14% fewer fatal crashes of all types at signalized intersections.
"We have demonstrated in the past that red light violations do decrease," said Chief Giustino. "Driver behavior does change and it makes it safer for all our motorists going through the intersections."
Unlike many other cities who were facing legal action because they used a third party to monitor the violations, Pembroke Pines will have a dedicated unit within the police department to review the images of those who cross the solid stop bar line as a light turns red.
Camera systems have been installed at the following locations to monitor red-light running incidents:
- Eastbound Johnson Street at Colony Point Drive
- Northbound Flamingo Road at Pines Boulevard
- Eastbound Pines Boulevard at Flamingo Road
- Westbound Pines Boulevard at 72nd Avenue
- Eastbound Pines Boulevard at 136th Avenue
- Northbound 136th Avenue at Pines Boulevard
- Eastbound Pines Boulevard at 129th Avenue
- Westbound Pembroke Road at 129th Avenue
During the month of June, those caught running the red lights will receive a warning with enforcement and ticketing formally starting in July. Those ticketed will be assessed a $158 fine which they may pay within 60 days to avoid points being added to their license or people can try to fight the ticket but face additional administrative fees if they go for a hearing.
(Photo credit: Pembroke Pines Police Department)