VERO BEACH – Proposed changes to an ordinance that could have cleared the way for the City of Vero Beach to install traffic cameras to catch red light runners will have to wait.
Though the Vero Beach City Council was supposed to discuss the new ordinance Tuesday evening, city staff asked the ordinance be brought back to the council in October. The reason for the delay in discussing the ordinance was not mentioned at the time City Clerk Tammy Vock asked the council to hold off on taking up the issue.
The council was scheduled to discuss making changes to city rules to bring red light camera regulations in line with recently approved state law.
Last month, the Vero Beach City Council voted to scrap its contract with red light camera vendor American Traffic Solutions because of the changes to Florida law.
The changes were so vast, according to city officials, that it was best to dissolve the contract and start over from scratch.
Whether the Vero Beach City Council would eventually hire a company to provide the traffic cameras remains to be seen as at least one councilman has recently spoken out against the tactic.
Councilman Brian Heady, on his debut show of Fired Up with Brian Heady on WWCI TV10, called the red light cameras a revenue maker that has nothing to do with public safety. He explained that the citations red light runners would receive would not impact their drivers’ licenses.
Other council members, including Mayor Kevin Sawnick and Tom White, have been supportive of the cameras for public safety reasons.
Vero Beach Police Chief Don Dappen has been a staunch supporter of the cameras, citing studies that show a marked decrease in serious, T-bone-type collisions that can occur when a driver runs a red light.
Other studies have shown an increase in rear-end collisions, which law enforcement officials say are less life-threatening and could be the result of the rear driver following too closely.
If cameras in Vero Beach were installed, drivers who are caught running a red light could receive a $158-fine. The city would receive $75, while the rest would go to the state. Of the city’s portion, Vero Beach would have to pay the red light camera vendor.
ATS, the proposed vendor, has told the city that if there were not enough citations issued to cover the cost of the program, the company would forgive the balance.
Whether ATS would make the same offer under a new contract or if a new vendor would offer the same remains unknown.
This article first published Tuesday 8:01 a.m.