An Arizona camera company has persuaded Boynton Beach officials to green-light their bid to reactivate red-light video cameras.
The company, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), attempted to sway the deal by including at no additional charge, live video surveillance access and licence-plate readers for law enforcement. Previously, Boynton had asked for these technologies, but it was not able to be provided.
Now, ATS if offering to include the new technologies to Boynton. The services could have added up to tens of thousands of dollars in extra expense. The live viewing will also allow for coverage of on-going traffic concerns as well as video documentation to be used in crime investigations.
Prior to suspending the red-light light cameras eight months ago, the costs of operating the devices was about $71,000 per month. But the system also generated more than 3.5 million dollars in revenue for Boynton in the first five years of operation.
Boynton is the last city in Palm Beach County to begin or reinstate operating of the red-light monitors. The commission voted to pickup their contract with ATS until 2021. An additional vote is needed before accepting the new freebies.
Even with the seemingly better deal in the works, some residents are not in favor of the traffic-light cameras. One Boynton citizen spoke up in the commission meeting voicing his concerns on privacy invasion, “I ask you all to protect the privacy and rights of your citizens, and not allow private companies to monitor us,” he informed city commissioners. “I understand there may be some situations in which cameras are helpful, but this is just opening the door to constant surveillance and giving up more and more privacy.”
The 30-year-old man continued to share his perspective when he added, “The last thing I’ll say…is when something is free, you’re the product.”
Drivers in Boynton can expect to see the cameras become operational again in a few weeks.