This is the blog for Robert Vincent, Chief of Police for the Gulfport (Florida) Police Department. Please feel free to leave comments, but keep in mind that anything appearing on this page may be subject to retention and disclosure in accordance with Florida public records law.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Red Light Camera Update

In February, Gulfport implemented an intersection safety program using photo enforcement of red light violations. The goal of the program was to reduce traffic crashes, most particularly those involving injuries.

I am happy to report after nine months of operation that the effort appears to be producing very successful results. Overall crashes have decreased over 26%, and injury crashes have decreased over 46% when compared to the same time period in 2010.

Details are available on this Power Point that was presented to the city council last night:


  1. Good news, thank you Chief!
    Has this program paid for itself or have projections that suggest it will pay for itself?

    Mark Gildauskas

  2. I am more interested in crash reduction at those specific intersections were the cameras were installed. I'd be interested to see if these are city wide stats that show a happenstance reduction, or a direct result of the cameras at specific intersections.

  3. The city's numbers do not add up. The PowerPoint fails to account for the months where revenue was lost (the numbers in red). The actual net using these numbers is $30,247. The data appears to be flawed, since under the 2010 law, there is no per-ticket charge by ATS. The vendor fees for three cameras should be the same for each month, but they vary from $4,137 in March to $26,767 in May. The cost varies (monthly low of $14,250 to high of $15,042) by several hundred dollars for the other months. Pursuant to a Florida Court ruling, the city does not have to pay more than they bring in, so there should never be a loss on the bottom line as there was in March and April.

    Some other points to ponder from that document:
    1. No traffic citations (UTCs) were issued at all in March and April?
    2. The UTCs were heavier during May through October, peaking in September. This is indicative of real police officers working targeted enforcement, which has been shown to also reduce the crash rate without violating anyone's rights. If targeted enforcement was done during this time period, as the evidence shows, it is an incorrect conclusion to attribute a reduction in crashes solely to the cameras.
    3. The total crash reduction is misleading. Without knowing how many were red light violations (s. 316.075) as the cause of the crash (in the state, this is about 2.8% of all fatal crashes), it is an incorrect conclusion to attribute a reduction in crashes solely to the cameras.

  4. Paul I can assure you the numbers are correct. Our contract with ATS requires that we pay them $4,750 per month, per camera, plus fees for mailing uniform traffic citations. Since the number of UTC's differs per month, the total fees per month also differ.

    From 2/23 to 3/23, only warnings were issued, as required by law. Notices of Violation (NOV's) started being issued on 3/23. A UTC is automatically issued when a person does not pay with NOV within 30 days. That is why there were no UTC's issued in the first two months.

    This also explains why the first two months were red on the finance sheet. While there was no fine revenue being collected, we still had to pay the vendor. The contract allows negative balances to roll-over, and so in the first month that fine revenue exceeded expenses, the amount owed from the previous months was also paid.

    I disagree with your assessment of the conclusion. When crashes decrease by such significant percentages and the only differing factor was the photo enforcement program, I think it's safe to assume it had something to do with it.