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Red-Light Cameras to Come Online at Three More Intersections in Manatee County


BRADENTON – Red light cameras will added to four Manatee County intersections after a presentation by code enforcement to the board of county commissioners. Code Enforcement Chief Joe Fenton briefed the board on the devices' performance to date  at Tuesday's meeting. Melissa Wandall, widow of Mark Wandall, whom the state law allowing the devices is named after, was also on hand to discuss the program's success. Wandall's husband was killed by a light-runner in 2003.

Fenton said the camera program was set up to be revenue neutral, in response to some citizen complaints that claim the county is using the cameras to generate revenue. Fenton said, to date, the county is in the black by a measly $396.00. 


Fenton also said the governor signed a bill that allowed right-hand turns, after a stop, when sitting at a red light. When asked about the controversy over some counties having a short yellow light, generating more revenue, Fenton only said, "We meet the code."


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Melissa and Madison Wandall (right) with Karen Windon

photo by John Rehill

When Melissa Wandall spoke about her quest to have the most dangerous intersections in the county monitored:


"This was never about getting a light at the intersection where my husband died," said Wandall, "nor was it about right-hand turns on red. It was a promise I made to my husband, after he was gone, and to our daughter Madison, who was born three months after the accident."


Wandall added, "This has always been about saving lives and about letting Madison know things about a father she never got to know." Commissioners thanked Wandall for her tireless efforts in making Manatee County highways safer.

One of the new cameras will be implemented at the intersection where Wandall's husband died at Tara Blvd and 53rd St East (SR 70). Another will be installed at 26th Street West at Cortez Road (southbound); and two will be installed at U.S. 301 at 60th Avenue East (one southbound and one northbound).

The county already has cameras at 15th Street East at 57th Avenue East (both north and southbound) and 34th Street West and 53rd Avenue West (northbound). The City of Bradenton also has cameras in operation at six locations within its limits. The contract with the county is for a total of 10 intersections with cameras.


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