A grass-roots effort aiming to remove red light cameras from Brooksville is closer to reality after activists get enough signatures confirmed to get the issue on the November ballot.
TAMPA BAY, Florida - A grassroots effort aiming to remove red light cameras from city streets is one step closer to fruition after the activists behind a petition drive report the Supervisor of Elections verified enough signatures to get a referendum on the cameras added to Brooksville's fall ballot.
Pat and Shirley Miketinac, who have been fighting red light cameras (RLCs) for more than a year in the tiny town, say almost every resident they approached was eager to sign the petition. Brooksville has approximately 7,700 residents and 6,000 voters; the Miketinacs say they easily reached the 600 verified signatures needed to get a red light camera repeal on the ballot this November.
As 10 News reported in May 2013, Brooksville uses 16 cameras at 7 intersections to crank out more than $250,000 in tickets a month. The city only keeps 48.5 percent of ticket revenue, but it rivals property taxes as the city's largest revenue stream.
Brooksville has one of Florida's highest rates of RLC tickets per capita, thanks to aggressive right turn ticketing, also known as "rolling rights." The additional $150-$250 the city charges for unsuccessful appeals is also among the highest in the state. However, drivers who have taken their appeals to Hernando County judges have often seen their "rolling right" tickets tossed, even upsetting the attorney general's office.
While referendum language has not been finalized, Brooksville could become at least the eighth Florida community to end an active RLC program. St. Petersburg's is slated to end no later than September.