Red-light cameras' may become obsolete

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Should Palm Beach County continue to use red-light cameras?

Their future in unincorporated Palm Beach County will be discussed by the county commission at Tuesday's meeting.

Palm Beach County's contract for its red-light camera program, which has been in operation since June 21, 2009, expires in June.

Currently, there are 17 cameras in use at eight different intersections.

A study of crash data, from four key intersections by Palm Beach County for the 22 months before red-light cameras and 22 months after using the cameras, showed no change in the total number of crashes.

The county study shows rear-end crashes are up; however, left turn crashes and angle crashes are down at intersections using the cameras.

Palm Beach County does not currently issue tickets for drivers who enter an intersection less than 0.5 seconds after the light turns red.

Some cities in Palm Beach County that operate their own red light camera program do not have a grace period, and their ticket numbers are higher than the county's.

Palm Beach County traffic engineers say most crashes occur when a driver runs a red light eight seconds or more after the signal changes.

The County Commission on Tuesday will consider extending the contract for red-light cameras, as well as continuing the 0.5 second grace period for drivers.

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