CRESTVIEW — A total of 323 drivers received red-light camera citations in January, the first citations issued since the cameras were activated, according to city officials.
“It’s a safety problem,” Crestview Police Department spokesman Brian Hughes said. “We’re not out to snag anybody.”
The red-light cameras take photographs from multiple angles of a vehicle that has entered an intersection when a traffic signal is red.
Hughes said drivers can also receive a citation for turning right on red before stopping and traveling over the white line after the light has turned red.
The process to issue the citations begins with the city's contractor, Sensys. The contractor monitors the cameras and sends the videos to the Police Department.
The department reviews the footage and determines whether a violation has occurred.
“If in doubt, throw it out,” Hughes said. “We’re trying to get the ones that are the most hazardous.”
The police communications officer finds the car's registered car and sends the information to the records department. Drivers found at fault are sent a citation in the mail.
Drivers issued citations during December only received a warning. But starting Jan. 1, those who received citations were fined $158.
The state of Florida receives 52.5 percent of the money from each ticket and the rest goes to the city. For a $158 ticket, the city receives about $75.
Red-light cameras are posted at the intersection of Ferdon Boulevard and Redstone Avenue and at the intersection of Ferdon Boulevard and James Lee Boulevard. (U.S. Highway 90).
According to Hughes, the number of citations indicate the number of times a dangerous situation has been created at the two intersections.
"We have a problem," he said.