Editorial: Thanks Lakeland, Florida PD for welcome relief from the red-light camera menace

Last month The Ledger reported that 2018 was on track to be the third consecutive year that LPD has issued fewer citations to red-light scofflaws, even as the number of overall violations was climbing.

In 2017, LPD wrote 23,805 citations, despite recording 39,751 possible violations. In mid-December LPD was on pace to issue about 300 fewer citations, despite thousands more new violations. Last week LPD spokesman Gary Gross provided us the final tally for 2018. The trend spotted in mid-December didn’t quite hold up. LPD did review significantly more possible violations (45,734) relative to the previous year, but still issued 24,152 tickets, or 347 more than in 2017.

Yet the data validated the expectation in one way. In 2017, LPD issued tickets for 60 percent of possible violations. For 2018, that dropped to 52 percent. Worded differently, LPD determined that even as the number of tickets was up slightly, thousands more drivers got a break in 2018.