Gulf Breeze traffic cameras
Updated: Friday, September 27 2013, 09:50 PM CDT
GULF BREEZE -- Red means stop.
But people running red lights in Gulf Breeze can mean green for the city.
More than 5,000 drivers were hit with $158 tickets this year.
Gulf Breeze gets about half the fine. That's more than $390,000.
"We use it for traffic enforcement. And it isn't regular, incorporated into the city budget. It's used for special needs. Special events that come up, overtime as needed," says Gulf Breeze City Manager Buz Eddy.
The other half of the ticket goes to the state.
What you may not realize is that the city has to pay for the equipment, the manpower to enforce and the court costs when someone wants to fight the fine; including a hearing officer and a court clerk.
That's why the city council voted for a $250 fine for those who contest the ticket and lose.
Even with the new few, does the city break even?
"Does not. It does not. But the costs are higher, but what the state prescribes is that you can only charge this much. So we charge that amount," continues Eddy.
Last year, 21 people contested their ticket. Only one was found innocent.
People are still split on the value, and legality, of these red light cameras.
But it looks like they're here to stay.
"It's not really correct. You know, I mean when you come through them. I got a ticket from one of them cameras, and I think it's not right," says Maurice, who live in Pensacola. "They need to take it down. I don't trust it."
"I see nothing wrong with it. If you're obeying the law, you know, you should have no problem with it," says longtime Gulf Breeze resident Jim.