The Quincy city commission met last Tuesday, March 12th to address several pending issues, including the statewide hot topic of red light cameras.
Proposed Ordinance #1050 dealing with traffic infraction detectors came before the body to authorize the city to implement the provisions of Florida law 2010-80 relating to red light violations. "Whereas the City Commission of the City of Quincy, Florida is concerned about the significant danger to citizens caused by the violation of red lights within its jurisdiction...," the ordinance states that other cities throughout the state and nation have successfully used traffic infraction detectors (red light cameras) to improve public safety and believes they will be effective in enforcing the law in Quincy, and will allow the city police to have more efficient use of law enforcement personnel.
The issue was proposed in February. Commissioners discussed it at length and tabled it until it is seen how or if the Florida legislature addresses the issue during its current session.
A matter dealing with animal waste was brought forward by Commissioner Derrick Elias at an earlier meeting. Ordinance 1051 amending Chapter 10 to add requirements regulating pet waste was unanimously approved on first reading at the meeting and will come back at a future meeting for second and final reading and vote.
Commissioners took time out from regular city business to recognize some of the city and commission veterans. A proclamation declaring Military Family & Community Covenant Day was read and attending veterans, two city commissioners, Keith Dowdell and Larry Edwards, and Assistant Chief of Police Glenn Sapp were honored for their service at the meeting.
The city once again took up a hearing on whether to fund part of the costs of the Big Bend In-Town Shuttle bus service. Several citizens spoke up about the importance of transportation for many people in the city. "Transportation is very important. This (no bus service) will cause major problems for our senior citizens. So many people are concerned with this particular issue. It will be for the greater good of all," said Bishop Sylvester Robinson.
The city gave approval to fund the shuttle for the city's share-cost with the county of $36,000.
A proposal for traffic calming strips in Tanyard Creek Park died on a 2-2 vote.
If Quincy just added one second to the yellow intervals on the traffic lights, it is essentially certain that the rate of violations would fall by 60% to 90%, to way below the level that would justify cameras. The cameras are expensive, typically $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera.
Red light cameras are a for-profit business partnership between the state (52.5% of the money), the camera vendor and the city willing to use deliberately improper engineering to cause enough split-second violations of red lights to make the cameras profitable. Red light cameras are NOT a safety program.
James C. Walker, Executive Director of the National Motorists Association Foundation