MANATEE -- Running certain red lights in Manatee County is about to become a more expensive proposition.
The county has decided to activate red-light cameras at two intersections, officials announced Friday afternoon. Violators will be subject to a $158 fine beginning midnight Monday.
The cameras are located at 53rd Avenue and 34th Street West, and at 57th Avenue East and 15th Street East. In the last month, 969 warnings were mailed to drivers who drove through red lights at those intersections. Many of the notices were sent to drivers who failed to come to a complete stop before making a right-hand turn.
Manatee County Commissioners in September unanimously approved installing red-light cameras at some of Manatee's busiest intersections. Melissa Wandall, whose husband, Mark, was killed in Manatee County by a red-light runner in 2003, has championed the cameras across the state and said statistics show that red-light violations are reduced between 40 percent and 96 percent where the cameras have been installed.
"For me, this is a legacy of love," Wandall told the board
in September. "I wanted my daughter not to be marked by tragedy but to know that when something happens in our lives, we can make a difference. Then healing occurs. It's not about trying to take away anyone's rights; it's about ensurng loved ones come backto us at the end of the day."
Local officials have also begun to evaluate the following intersections to determine whether there are safety concerns that could be helped by the cameras:
n Cortez Road and U.S. 41
n Cortez Road and 26th Street West
n Cortez Road and 59th Street West
n U.S. 41 and 53rd Avenue West
n U.S. 41 and 57th Avenue West
n S.R. 70 and Tara Boulevard
n U.S. 301 and 60th Avenue East, near the Ellenton Premium Outlets.