PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Pensacola is looking to join other cities like Crestview and Gulf Breeze in installing red light cameras.
“The vast majority of our calls for service are usually traffic crashes,” Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves said.
Mayor Reeves said, in 2022, Pensacola police officers spent at least 5,000 hours working more than 3,000 traffic crashes costing the city well over $100,000.
“How do we start to mitigate the huge labor expense that we’re spending for people to be at these crashes,” Reeves said.
The city started by doing 16-hour assessments at some of the most dangerous intersections, and the mayor said the problem was worse than expected.
“Shocking.. to say the least,” he said.
Over the past 10 years, three intersections have always been in the top three for total car crashes: 9th Avenue at Bayou Boulevard, 9th at Airport Boulevard and Davis Highway at Fairfield Drive.
“We don’t want people injured or killed,” Reeves said. “That’s what our goal is, and we don’t want to spend five, six, seven, eight thousand hours of our police officers time that could be out investigating crimes, and we’re dealing with crashes because we’ve got people slamming through red lights.”
The city will likely start a pilot program to put cameras at a few intersections where the highest number of drivers run red lights.
“I’m talking about the light turned red, and you blew through it. We have single intersections over one day that are 40 or 50 times, and you think about pedestrians,” Reeves said. “You think about bicyclists. It’s alarming.”