In an effort to get its dormant red light camera program pulling in money again, the Hillsborough County Commission is expected to give the green light for a public hearing on restarting the program.
Recently passed state legislation that went into effect July 1 established uniform standards for red light cameras in Florida, and caused counties and cities across the state to have to tweak programs in order to comply with the new law.
In Hillsborough’s case, seeking compliance has brought its lucrative program to a halt: County attorneys must ammend its ordinance to get in line with the new law, which includes turning over a chunk of fines collected to the state.
At a meeting this Wednesday, commissioners are expected to approve scheduling a public hearing for Sept. 1 to allow citizens to weigh in on the planned changes to the program. A lot is riding on the red light programs for the county; an estimated $2 million in revenue is expected each year once the program is up and running again.
Red light programs — which capture a digital image of vehicles running red lights — began popping up in recent months all over the state as counties and cities began issuing civil infractions, usually with a $125 fine.
The programs, however, proved controversial. Lawsuits were filed against several Florida cities, challenging the use of the cameras without a uniform state law.