This Manatee County red-light camera intersection plays 'Gotcha'

April 20, 2014 


Sgt. Mike Kenyan with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office traffic enforcement unit approves a violation after reviewing the video. Kenyan is one of the examiners for red light violators caught on red light cameras in Manatee County. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald


I have been reading with much interest the current running commentary on red light cameras. While I can see the fuzzy area surrounding turning on red, I recently came across another fuzzy thing.

I have been driving to work much the same way for over 10 years. This involves taking a left turn onto Cortez Road off 26th Street West.

All these years, as the turn-lane signal went yellow, the light would go all green and you could get in the middle of the intersection to complete your left turn.

Lo and behold, one morning as the light for the left turn went to yellow, it then went to all red before turning green.

Guess who got caught? I was immediately filled with a "Gothca" feeling as the light changed this way to purposely catch me.

And guess what? The very next day it went back to the old way of changing.

Soooo, I sat in the Walgreens parking lot a few days later and watched as the light intermittently changed the way it went from yellow to green or red.

Seems to me having a light that is not consistent would be grounds for dismissal of my $153 ransom, but what are the odds? Not worth gambling and paying double.

So now I approach every red-light-camera protected intersection the same way I'd do when I'm in Las Vegas. Cause the house always holds the edge when you play their game.

Edward St. James


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