The fastest car they clocked flew down Palm at 93 miles an hour – according to City Manager David Deitch, who addressed the City Council at their October meeting.
Deitch cited a traffic survey company report explaining why the city needs to partner with a traffic camera vendor for roads around the city’s schools.
The study, conducted by Alutmint, found the fastest speed recorded on 85, outside of Edge Elementary, at 75 miles an hour. On John Sims, the study clocked someone going 65 miles an hour.
The worst part? These were speeds clocked from the “light to light” time: the time of day from roughly 6:30 AM to 3:39 PM when school children are heading to school or are in class.
“We have a speeding problem,” Deitch said, “And I would like to get after it.
According to Deitch, The speed survey found 5,824 cars that traveled more than 10 miles over the speed limit during the four days of the study.
In order to buy and implement the speed equipment, the council would have to adopt an ordinance allowing the company to install their equipment and charge the speeders. Deitch said City Attorney Dan Powell was working on the draft and planned to present it next month.
The equipment, owned by a company called Altumint, would not charge the city installation or maintenance fees, according to Deitch.
Instead, the company would do all of the work to maintain the system, from registering speeders, to sending tickets. The company would also provide evidence and expert witnesses in the case a ticket was challenged in court.
Speeders would receive flat-rate tickets for speeding. $100 tickets would go to those speeding 11 miles an hour above the posted speed limit. Anyone going 30 miles an hour above the speed limit would receive a $200 ticket.
Assuming a 90% reduction in speeding and a 80% payment rate, the Deitch figures it could net between $4-5 million dollars annually – as well as $1.5 million annually for the school district.
“It’s a nice little cherry on top,” Deitch said of the extra revenues for the city, “What I want to do is reduce those speeders 5,800 speeders in four different speed zones.”
There is not an estimated installation date for traffic cameras right now. The city will have to go through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which has not published its rules and guidance on these traffic cameras. FDOT says they will have guidance on these cameras published for cities, counties and the state by the end of 2023. Once FDOT publishes its rules, the company, Altumint, can begin the installation process with government organizations it has contracted with.
“I would not expect to see any working cameras in Niceville before the end of the first calendar quarter of next year.” Deitch wrote in an email to Mid Bay News.
Deitch added he plans to recommend the city use Altumint as a vendor for these cameras. The final decision is up to the city council – but in most situations where vast sums of technical expertise and comparison are required – city councils accept the recommendation without serious objection.
Altumint is a Maryland-based company specializing in camera equipment that monitors speeds and issues tickets and identifies vehicles. The company was founded in 2019. Currently, Altumint has one other contract with a city in Florida. The City of Eustis, to the northwest of Orlando, signed a contract with the company for the school zone speed detection product Niceville is interested in back in July of 2023.