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Joelle Embres' Blog

By Joelle Embres | Agent in Parkland, FL
  • Broward County Transit


    Broward County Transit Announces New Service and Adjustments Effective May 27, 2012

    Effective Sunday, May 27, Broward County Transit (BCT) will make service adjustments on routes 7, 12, 62 and 72 to improve on-time performance. On Tuesday, May 29, the 595 Express will begin service with two routes from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise to downtown Fort Lauderdale and downtown Miami/Brickell Avenue.

    Details of the service adjustments are as follows:

    Route 7: Weekdays, Saturday and Sunday schedule times will be adjusted throughout the day to improve on-time performance. On weekdays, two additional westbound trips will depart at 9:55 p.m. and 10:35 p.m. from Young Circle in Hollywood to Pembroke Lakes Mall.

    Route 12: Weekday, Saturday and Sunday schedule times will be adjusted throughout the day to improve on-time performance.

    Route 62: Weekday, Saturday and Sunday schedule times will be adjusted throughout the day to improve on-time performance.

    Route 72: On weekdays, the westbound trip from Oakland Park Boulevard and University Drive will depart at 10:35 p.m. instead of at 10:32 p.m. to make better connections with route 2.

    New 595 Express, offering complimentary rides the first week, will begin service on Tuesday, May 29, with two routes departing the Park and Ride lot at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise to downtown Fort Lauderdale and downtown Miami/Brickell Avenue and travel along I-595. Service will be on weekdays only approximately every 30 minutes during morning and afternoon peak travel times. The Miami/Brickell Avenue route will make a stop at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Tri-Rail station that also has a Park and Ride lot. The Fort Lauderdale route will make three morning and afternoon reverse commute trips to and from Sawgrass Mills Mall.

    Southbound morning buses to downtown Miami/Brickell Avenue will depart at 5:20 a.m. up to 7:40 a.m. every 30 minutes and afternoon northbound buses to Sunrise will depart at 3:35 p.m. up to 6:05 p.m. every 30 minutes.

    Eastbound morning buses to downtown Fort Lauderdale will depart at 6:05 a.m. up to 8:30 a.m. every 30 minutes and afternoon westbound buses to Sunrise will depart at 3:30 p.m. up to 6:05 p.m. every 30 minutes.

    For details on the new service and adjustments, passengers should visit broward.org/bct or call the customer service center at 954-357-6786 (TTY 954-357-8302).

  • Coral Springs aims to expand its red-light camera program

    Posted Under: Traffic & Public Transportation in Coral Springs, In My Neighborhood in Coral Springs  |  April 9, 2012 7:29 AM  |  471 views  |  No comments

     

    Lack of support from the county has hampered Coral Springs' plans to expand its red-light camera program.

    Red-light cameras have been installed at eight approaches in the city, seven in the initial phase of the program and one more recently. Police initially monitored 16 dangerous intersections and would like to have cameras at a few more approaches, but the county has yet to back the idea.

    "All our cameras are at non-county intersections," City Manager Erdal Donmez said. "We have identified five more intersections where we would like to install red-light cameras, but Broward County has not given us permission."

    "We are concerned about north-bound traffic on 441 and Wiles Road, and west- and east-bound traffic on Sample and 62nd Avenue," Police Chief Tony Pustizzi said. "We are held back a little bit by the county. The program will be more useful if the county allows cities access to its rights of way."

    "The good news is that the intersections appear to be getting safer," Pustizzi said. "The number of red-light violations is coming down. At the University Drive-Ramblewood north-bound approach, there were only seven violations in February. If the numbers keep coming down, we may have to think about moving that camera around."

    The cameras went into effect on Sept. 15 last year and as many as 3,531 drivers have been issued citations for running red lights at the end of February. University Drive north-bound on Shadow Wood Drive generated the highest number of citations – 773 – followed by Sample Road east-bound on Riverside Drive, which generated 674. University Drive south-bound on Ramblewood Drive generated the lowest number of citations – 262.

    The city pays its vendor $13,000 per approach, Captain Clyde Parry said. "We are currently $7,481.66 in the red. Each month, it has gotten lower. The program is cost neutral to us."

    "We know we are not going to lose money," Donmez said. "We may have some modest fund balance after a few months. We didn't introduce the program to generate revenue."

    "The results show we are benefiting from the program," Mayor Roy Gold said. "We have safer streets now. We also don't need to have our police officers at these intersections and can better utilize them."

    "It was the right thing to do," Commissioner Claudette Bruck said. "We approved this not with the intention of generating revenue but to save lives."

    "It has been an educational process for people," Commissioner Vince Boccard said. "What is exciting to me is that there have been no accidents. I would be curious to see how the numbers change in a year."

    Red-light cameras are currently operational within Coral Springs at the following intersections: Riverside Drive and Sample Road (east-bound), University Drive and Royal Palm Boulevard (north-bound), University Drive and Shadow Wood Boulevard (north- and south-bound), University Drive and Ramblewood Drive (north- and south-bound), and University Drive and Riverside Drive (south-bound).

  • Coral Springs red-light cameras

    Posted Under: General Area in Coral Springs, Traffic & Public Transportation in Coral Springs, In My Neighborhood in Coral Springs  |  April 6, 2012 8:21 AM  |  463 views  |  No comments

    Coral Springs is seeing red with its red-light cameras

     

    Some drivers may be acting differently in Coral Springs because of the city's new red-light cameras, but officials have been told the program isn't making any money.

    The red-light cameras have been installed at eight intersections since September.

    But while 3,500 citations have netted $293,000, after fees to the camera vendor are paid and the state receives a cut, the city is left with a net loss of $7,481, police officials told the commission.

    But the loss is only on paper. While the city won't receive any money, it's a "cost-neutral" contract, so the city doesn't owe any money for losses either.
     
  • Sunrise beefs up rules for towing companies

    Posted Under: General Area in Sunrise, Traffic & Public Transportation in Sunrise  |  January 9, 2012 9:22 AM  |  1,136 views  |  No comments

    Sunrise beefs up rules for towing companies

    Crackdown comes after more than 300 cars towed from shops near Sawgrass Mills mall

    A Black Friday towing frenzy has led to tougher rules for tow truck drivers crossing the border into Sunrise.

    Commissioners approved the new rules 4-0 on Wednesday, making good on their promise to crack down on tow companies operating in their city.

    "I think this is a great move forward for improving public safety and consumer protection," Mayor Mike Ryan said. "I hope other cities in the county consider approving similar laws."

    Commissioners also plan to consider whether tow companies should be required to apply for a permit to operate in Sunrise.

    What prompted the crackdown?

    Tow companies removed more than 300 cars from shops and restaurants near Sawgrass Mills mall starting on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

    Shoppers whose cars were towed complained they had to pay in cash and give exact change.

    "What happened on Black Friday was just wrong," Commissioner Sheila Alu said. "And it made the city look really, really bad."

    Alu questioned how dozens of cabs happened to be at the mall the same night.

    Steve Rossi, attorney for All County Towing, said the cab drivers were at the mall looking for shoppers who needed a ride home.

    Tow companies operating in Sunrise now have to accept personal checks and provide change if the car owner pays cash. They will not be able to remove a car if the owner returns before the vehicle is connected to the tow truck, and they will have to notify the police department within 30 minutes of towing a car.

    The tow company and business will need a written agreement that states the name and address of the property owner requesting the tow, the time of day and days of the week the tow is authorized, and the duration of the contract.

    The contract will have to list where the vehicle will be stored. And the site cannot be more than 10 miles from where the tow originates.

  • Coral Springs Police host Holiday Safety Event

    Posted Under: Traffic & Public Transportation in Coral Springs, Crime & Safety in Coral Springs, In My Neighborhood in Coral Springs  |  December 12, 2011 1:46 PM  |  1,004 views  |  No comments
    Coral Springs Police host Holiday Safety Event on Dec. 17
     

    Members of the Coral Springs Police Department will be at Target, located at 9600 Westview Drive, on Saturday, December 17 to register bicycles and offer free ID cards for children.  Residents can register their bikes for free from noon to 5 p.m. Registering a bike can aid in recovering your bike if it is ever lost or stolen. From 1 to 4 p.m., CSI members will also be offering free ID cards for children. The ID cards contain your child’s information, photo and fingerprints.

    Target is located at the Southwest corner of University and Westview drives.

  • Sunrise - RED-LIGHT SAFETY CAMERAS

    Posted Under: Traffic & Public Transportation in Sunrise, In My Neighborhood in Sunrise  |  November 10, 2011 12:58 PM  |  831 views  |  No comments

    Why has the City of Sunrise implemented a Road Safety Program?
    According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly 2 million crashes annually occur in intersections. In 2009, red-light running resulted in 676 fatalities and 113,000 injuries.

    Red-light running is a deadly epidemic. Road Safety Programs have proven to reduce the number of red-light collisions and injuries associated with these crashes. The purpose of this program is to increase traffic safety in Sunrise by reducing red-light running violations, collisions and injuries without impacting city funds.

    What is a red-light running violation?
    A red-light running violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. Motorists already in the intersection when the signal changes to red, waiting to turn for example, are not considered red-light violators.

    Where are Red-Light Safety Cameras located?
    The intersections with camera installations are listed below. Each intersection is marked clearly with signs.

    • North University Drive (north bound) at NW 25TH Court 
    • West Oakland Park Boulevard (west bound) at North University Drive 
    • North University Drive (south bound) at West Oakland Park Boulevard 
    • North Flamingo Road (south bound) at NW 136TH Avenue 
    • North Flamingo Road (south bound) at West Sunrise Boulevard 
    • Nob Hill Road (north bound) at Sunset Strip

    How does the Red-Light Safety Camera work?  

    •  The system activates when motion is detected just prior to the stop bar AFTER the traffic signal has turned red.
    • The cameras capture two images of an alleged violation, taken from the rear of the vehicle.
    • The first image shows the vehicle at the white stop bar and the illuminated red light. 
    • The second image shows the violator in the middle of the intersection with the red light illuminated. 
    • The license plate image is a close-up from one of the images captured. 
    • Data, including the time, date, and duration of the yellow and red lights, also is recorded.
    • Cameras also record a 12-second digital video of the violation, including six seconds prior to and six seconds after running the red light.

    Why does the camera flash when no one actually runs the red light?
    The road safety program is designed to take two rear photographs of a vehicle that may be committing a violation. The first rear image captures the vehicle prior to entering the intersection with the traffic signal red, and the second image shows the vehicle continuing through the intersection during the red signal phase.

    On occasion, a vehicle approaching an intersection with a red light may come to a stop before entering the intersection yet trigger the road safety camera system, causing the flash to discharge. In addition, a vehicle approaching the intersection and making a right turn may not come to a complete stop but only slow before continuing to turn, triggering the road safety program and causing the flash to discharge.

    The Police Department reviews each violation event captured by the road safety program and makes the final decision to issue a citation. All flash incidents do not equate to a citation.

    What to do if you receive a Notice of Violation

    Why did I receive this Notice of Violation?
    Based upon images captured by the automated system, your vehicle was determined to have committed a red-light violation. As the vehicle owner, the Notice of Violation is mailed to you.

    How much is the fine?
    Violations will be assessed a $158 statutory penalty and no points will be assessed.
    If the fine is not paid in a timely fashion a “Uniform Traffic Citation” will be issued and increased penalties could be assessed including court costs.

    How much time do I have to pay my Notice of Violation?
    It is recommended that the payment be received eight (8) days prior to the due date specified on the front page of this notice to be appropriately processed or a UTC will be issued at a higher cost. The due date for payment is located on the top and bottom right of your Notice of Violation.

    What are my options?

      1. Pay the fine.

        A.  Pay Online. Logon to www.ViolationInfo.com by entering your Notice number and PIN number shown in the red box on the front right of your Notice. Click the Pay button. There is a convenience fee of $4.00 that will be assessed at the time of payment.

        B. Pay by Mail. Mail your check or money order, payable to Automated Traffic Control Violation System, in the enclosed envelope along with the coupon printed at the bottom of the notice. Write the Notice number and the license plate number on your check or money order. Do not mail cash. The mailing address is:

        City of Sunrise
        Payment Processing Center
        P.O. Box 742503
        Cincinnati, OH. 45274-2503

        C. Pay by Credit Card. Call toll free 1-866-790-4111 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. There is a convenience fee of $4.00 that will be assessed at the time of payment.

      2. Request a hearing.
        If you choose to appear before an official of the county court or plead not guilty, do not respond to the Notice of Violation. You will receive a Uniform Traffic Citation within 60 days of the Violation Date via certified mail. Instructions will be provided to you by the county clerk’s office as to how you should proceed.

      3. Submit an Affidavit of Non-Responsibility.
        You may submit an Affidavit of Non-Responsibility. If the vehicle was in the care, custody or control of another person, the Affidavit must be notarized. You may obtain an Affidavit of Non-Responsibility by visiting www.ViolationInfo.com.

    To view information about your Notice of Violation please visit www.ViolationInfo.com.  If you do not have access to a computer with internet capabilities, you may view your video and images at the Sunrise Public Safety Building located at 10440 W. Oakland Park Blvd, Sunries Florida 33351. 

    Once you have accessed www.ViolationInfo.com, you will be asked to enter your Notice number and PIN number, found on the front of your Warning or Notice of Violation in the upper right corner, inside the red box.  For more information about the Intersection Safety Program, you can also call customer service at 1-866-225-8875 between 8:00am and 5:00pm excluding holidays and weekends.

    What if I was not the driver/owner of the vehicle at the time of the violation?
    If you assert that the vehicle was in the care, custody, or control of another person, you must provide the name, address, date of birth, and, if known, the driver’s license number of the person who leased, rented, or otherwise had care, custody, or control of the vehicle at the time of the violation. Acceptance of this assertion by the City of Sunrise will result in the issuance of a uniform traffic citation to the person named in the affidavit.

    What happens if I ignore the Notice of Violation?
    If you fail to respond, a Uniform Traffic Citation (“UTC”) will be issued to you of under this statute for the stated infraction you may become responsible for court fees and costs. Upon issuance of a UTC, you shall have the remedies specified in Florida Statutes § 318.14, which include the right to have a hearing before a designated official, who shall determine whether an infraction has been committed. If the official concludes that no infraction has been committed, no costs or penalties shall be imposed.

    Will I receive any points on my driving record for this Violation?
    This is a non-criminal infraction of state law. No points will be assessed.

    Will my insurance rates be affected?
    No. This violation may not be used to set motor vehicle insurance rates.

    Will the Red-Light Safety cameras take a picture of the driver of the vehicle?
    No. A violation of the Florida Statutes § 316.075(1)(c) is a civil violation assessed against the owner of the vehicle; it is not a criminal violation. Similar to a parking ticket, there is no need to identify the driver and therefore, no need to capture an image of the driver.

    I do not believe I ran a red light. Where can I go to view my images and video?
    To view video and images, logon to www.ViolationInfo.com and enter the Notice Number and the PIN Number located at the top right of your Notice of Violation. If you do not have Internet access, you may visit any public library for Internet access to view your images.

    I do not believe I ran a red light and want to discuss my case with someone.
    If you choose to appear before an official of the county court or plead not guilty, do not respond to this Notice of Violation. You will receive a Uniform Traffic Citation within 60 days of the Violation Date via certified mail. Instructions will be provided to you by the county clerk’s office as to how you should proceed.

    Can someone other than me attend the hearing?
    Only you may appear at an adjudication hearing.

    Can I bring a lawyer to the hearing with me?
    Yes.

    How do I know that these violations are valid?
    Images of your vehicle were captured and recorded by an Automated Road Safety Program. You can review your images and video of the actual occurrence online. The images and video were reviewed by several qualified technicians and finally by personnel from the Sunrise Police Department before the alleged civil violation was affirmed and mailed to you as the registered owner or identified driver.

    What company provides the Road Safety program in Sunrise?
    Sunrise has contracted with American Traffic Solutions Inc. (ATS) which provides Road safety and road safety programs for more than 300 communities across North America. More information about ATS is available at www.atsol.com.

    Red-light Running Facts

    Red-light Running is a Dangerous and Costly Problem.

    • Red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes
      according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 
    •  In 2009, 676 people were killed and 113,000 were injures in
      intersection crashes. 
    •  Road safety cameras saved 159 lives in 2004-08 in 14 of the biggest US cities, an analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. 
    •  Right angle crash is the most prevalent type of intersection fatal crash. In 2009, there were 826 right angle collisions in intersections with traffic lights followed by 190 sideswipe collisions according to National Safety Council 
    •  In 2009 there were 1,377 fatal collisions involving other motor vehicles which represent about 13% according to NSC. 
    •  The financial cost to the public is estimated to be more than $14 billion each year.


    Red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 
    Red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 


    A Crash Caused by a Driver who Runs a Red Light is More Likely to Result in Serious Injury or Death.

    • Deaths caused by red-light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.
    • More people are injured in crashes involving red-light running than in any other crash type.
    • Reduction in red-light running through a comprehensive Road safety camera program will promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of the Sunrise citizens.


    Deaths caused by red-light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.
    Deaths caused by red-light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.


    Most People Run Red Lights Because They are in a Hurry, When in Fact They Save Only Seconds.

    • Almost all drivers (96%) fear being struck by a red-light runner.
    • A majority of Americans (56%) admit to running red lights. 
    • Red-light runners can be anyone who drives. 
    • One in three Americans knows someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash. 
    • Red-light running is often a result of aggressive driving and is completely preventable.


      Almost all drivers (96%) fear being struck by a red-light runner.
      Almost all drivers (96%) fear being struck by a red-light runner.
  • Margate Inner-City Transit

    Posted Under: Traffic & Public Transportation in Margate  |  September 20, 2011 2:16 PM  |  899 views  |  No comments

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Friday
    7:20am - 4:30pm

    Office Hours:
    Mon-Fri 6am-7pm
    To call in compliments or complaints,
    please call: 954-970-5342

    No service on these Holidays:
    New Year's Day
    Memorial Day
    Independence Day
    Labor Day
    Thanksgiving Day
    Christmas Day

    Schedule & Maps **Updated August, 2011**

    MAP SCHEDULE
    MAP SCHEDULE
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