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County installs cameras to catch red light runners

By Staff | Jul 21, 2009

The next time drivers head over the Midpoint Bridge they should be careful when they come to the Summerlin Road intersection, they just might have their picture taken.
The Lee County Department of Transportation recently installed red light cameras at the corner of Summerlin and Colonial Boulevard in hopes of catching motorists running red lights.
DOT Deputy Director Paul Wingard said the county is not yet issuing tickets for those who run the lights, though it does reserve the right to.
“We’re not issuing tickets, but theoretically we have the ability to,” he said. “We could send a warning letter, which is what Collier County did when they first installed their cameras.”
Described as collecting data, the viability of the red light cameras will dictate whether the county moves forward with additional cameras at busy intersections.
Wingard said the cameras will collect the data for about six weeks, after which DOT will make a presentation to the Lee County Commission. The commissioners will then decide if additional units are needed.
“We’re going to collect data and go back to them (the BOCC) to see if they want to pursue this on a grander scale,” he said. “I don’t think we’re talking about every intersection … commissioners have not yet adopted a policy to move forward.”
The cameras capture several pictures of the vehicle and the vehicle license plate of those who enter the intersection after the traffic signal has changed to red.
The automated system will work through the LeeWay Service Center, which is located near the Summerlin/Colonial intersection. The center’s location helped to dictate where the test red light cameras would be located.
Wingard said all data, including the photographs, will be processed through the LeeWay center. Working on a trial basis, he added that all equipment has been donated at no cost to Lee County taxpayers.
“At this point, we really don’t know how we would move forward,” Wingard said.
It is unknown if the city of Cape Coral has or will be looking into installing red light cameras. A phone call to city spokeswoman Connie Barron went unanswered.
Questions about the project should be directed to Wingard at 533-8545.