JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Attention drivers: Jacksonville is one step closer to getting red light cameras. They're the cameras that take a picture of your license plate, and send you a ticket in the mail if you run a red light.
According to the Traffic Safety Coalition, nearly 700 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2009. Now, in an effort to reduce that danger here in Jacksonville, Sheriff John Rutherford is pushing for red light cameras to be installed in Duval County.
He's working out a deal with a Phoenix-based company called, Redflex. It specializes in video surveillance at intersections. And it takes it a step further, by actually helping prevent crashes.
New technology, called Halo, can measure the probability of a car running a red light. And so other drivers don't get hit, it holds their light at red, until the law breaker passes.
"It delays their red and thereby protecting them from jumping out and getting hit by a red light runner," said Sheriff Rutherford.
Green Cove Springs has been using red light cameras for a while now. But the idea of an eye in the sky watching you drive has some drivers seeing red.
Action News asked, "When you listen to drivers, they say, no, this is just a money generator for the city." Sheriff Rutherford replied, "No, and that's never been our mission. Look, we're about public safety." He went on to say, "This should be evidence that this ain't about the money, is we're gonna put up big signs to let everybody know, look, you're getting ready to enter an intersection that's video red light enforced."
The Sheriff says about 25 different approaches will get cameras. The most dangerous ones will use the HALO system. The exact locations haven't been named yet.
So now, the next logical question is, how much will this cost you, the taxpayer?
Sheriff Rutherford answered, "These systems will not cost the taxpayers any money whatsoever."
The Sheriff says the system pays for itself with ticket revenue. Tickets are about $158 a pop. And offenders will get warnings during the first 30 days the system is used.
Sheriff Rutherford says the contract is now in the hands of the City's General Counsel. As soon as that's hammered out, he says installation could begin within 90 days.