County: Get rid of red-light cameras

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BROOKSVILLE – Just in case it wasn’t clear before, county commissioners sent a clearer message to Brooksville officials that they want two red-light cameras on county-owned property removed.

Commissioners this week voted unanimously to send the City Council a resolution formally asking for the removal of the cameras at Cobb Road and Jefferson Street and at U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road.

County commissioners have repeatedly said on the record that the city should take them down and the legal office decided to “memorialize” that intention in the form of a resolution.

The camera removal “is necessary, practical and in the best interests of the citizens of Hernando County and the state of Florida,” reads the resolution.

It goes on to say that their removal would benefit the tourism industry and businesses. The cameras also represent a financial hardship for people who drive in the area, according to the resolution.

County Commissioner Jim Adkins, who has been leading the charge on the cameras’ removal, broached the idea back in February and the cameras remain functional, to the commissioner’s chagrin.

“They just need to do away with them and be done with them,” Adkins said recently.

Adkins said cameras strip motorists of a basic right to argue their case with Florida Highway Patrol or other law enforcement agencies.

The National Motorists Association has come out against red-light cameras and agrees with Adkins.

“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it may also take a thousand words to explain what the picture really means,” according to an NMA bullet point. “Even in those rare instances where a law enforcement officer is overseeing a ticket camera, it is highly unlikely that the officer would recall the supposed violation.”

The NMA, in a statement, said there is no “accuser” for motorists to confront, which is a constitutional right.

“There is no one that can personally testify to the circumstances of the alleged violation, and just because a camera unit was operating properly when it was set up does not mean it was operating properly when the picture was taken of any given vehicle,” according to the NMA.