LAKELAND - Over the holiday weekend, the City of Lakeland will flip the switch on its expanded red light camera program.
On Sunday, nine new cameras will go live throughout the city. That's in addition to the nine already in place.
"We're not trying to take people's money, we're not trying to target the citizens, we're trying to target bad drivers," said Officer Scott Wisneski, whose tedious job is to go one by one through the 800 or so red light camera violations the City of Lakeland sees every month.
Wisneski, who works out of the Clerk of the Court office in Lakeland, has the final say on whether the driver receives the ticket.
"I think there's a thought process out there that when you run a red light, you automatically get a ticket, or if that camera flashes, you're automatically getting a ticket," he said. "That's just not the case."
For instance, if he sees drivers make a "careful and prudent" stop while making a right on red, Wisneski will not issue a violation.
The drivers will never know they got away with it.
On the other hand, with a click of the mouse, Wisneski can approve a $158 violation violation for drivers who don't make an attempt to slow down or stop.
Once the new cameras go live on Sunday, there will be a 30-day grace period. Any drivers caught on camera will receive a warning.
Motorists will see the new cameras in the following intersections:
WB W Memorial Blvd @ Martin L King Jr Ave/ North Dakota Ave
WB E Memorial Blvd @ N Massachusetts Ave
EB E Memorial Blvd @ N Massachusetts Ave
NB Harden Blvd @ W Beacon Rd
SB Harden Blvd @ North Pkwy Frontage Rd
NB Bartow Rd/US 98 @ N Crystal Lk
SB Bartow Rd/US 98 @ N Crystal Lk
SB US 98 @ Griffin Rd
NB US 98 @ Griffin Rd