Gulfport to Remove Red-Light Cameras

traffic lightsThis month, those red-light cameras at Gulfport Boulevard S and 58th Street, and Gulfport Boulevard S and 49th Street S are going away.

Tampa Bay Times reports the Gulfport City Council will let the contract with the camera company expire. The lights have brought more than a quarter million dollars in fines to Gulfport.

Legislation passed by the state in 2010 granted municipalities the right to contract for traffic monitoring equipment, providing they pay a percentage of ticket revenue back to the state. In the five years Gulfport has contracted with American Traffic Solutions, traffic violations brought in about $1,764,400. Of that, ATS received about $708,000, the state of Florida $794,300 and Gulfport $262,100.

While the use of red-light cameras has come under increased scrutiny, many, like Gulfport police Chief Rob Vincent, have seen their value. Vincent said cameras free police officers from traffic monitoring, allowing them to spend time on more serious crimes. Data also suggests a correlation between a decrease in traffic accidents where cameras are located, he said.