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Tampa: 24 red light cameras watching; citations start today

11:43 AM, Nov 1, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Starting today, vehicles caught running a red light by the city's 24 red light cameras, at 14 intersections will be fined $158.

The city started sending out warning notices to drivers on October 1st with nearly 4,000 drivers getting one in the mail.

This means, you must come to a complete stop behind the stop bar on the road.  If you want to make a right turn on red, Tampa Police say you must first come to a complete stop behind the stop bar and once you determine it's safe and there are no pedestrians, you can proceed to make your right turn.

You won't get points on your license if you are caught by a red light camera, but if you don't pay the fine, your license could be suspended.

Tampa joins more than 70 communities across the state by using the cameras to fine drivers who run red lights.

St. Petersburg started issuing citations on Saturday.

Click:  St. Pete Red light cameras: no more warnings

Last year, there were 371 crashes caused by drivers who ran a red light according to Tampa Police.

Click:  Tampagov.net: Stop on Red Tampa

Each violation will be reviewed by a police officer before a violation is issued.

Click: Who reviews red light violations before you get a citation?

The hope is the cameras will alter driver behavior.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office tells 10 News the red light cameras in the county appear to be working because the number of citations going out are dropping.  However, there was an upward trend in citations in the August, according to numbers from the Florida Department of Revenue.

Click:  Florida DOR: Tax Data (look for red light cameras-shows the amount of money collected by the state general revenue fund)

Under state law, cities and counties get to keep $75 of the $158 fine, with $10 going to the Health Administration Trust Fund, and $3 to the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust fund.  The rest goes to the state general revenue fund.

The cameras have stirred up a lot of controversy and lawsuits over the last couple of years in Florida.  Critics say the cash strapped cities and counties are using the cameras as a way to make money, while others claim they cause more crashes than they prevent.

Some Florida lawmakers are looking at another option to red light cameras...extending the yellow light. 

The Florida Department of Transportation has minimum standards for the length of the yellow light depending on speed limit and traffic studies.  A speed limit of 25mph requires at least a 3 second yellow light time, 40 mph a 4 seconds yellow time, 45 mph a 4.3 second yellow light time. Time on yellow increases with the speed limit.

ClickState lawmakers debate whether longer yellow lights make drivers safer

Rep. Brad Drake supports longer yellow lights. He thinks red light cameras are causing more safety problems than they're worth.

"I think the most appropriate way to handle this is through recalibration of the yellow lights. If you set a standard and you make it uniform throughout the state of Florida, then you will have an appropriate amount of time to make a good decision on whether or not when you approach a green light and see a yellow light, then you know you have just the right amount of time to stop, not speed up, not slow down, but to stop."

Here are the intersections where the red light cameras are watching:

 

Westbound E Busch Boulevard @ N Nebraska Avenue

Eastbound E Fowler Avenue @ N Nebraska Avenue

Westbound E Hillsborough Avenue @ N Nebraska Avenue

Northbound N Armenia Avenue @ W Hillsborough Avenue

Northbound N Lois Avenue @ W Hillsborough Avenue

Northbound N Nebraska Avenue @ E Hillsborough Avenue

Northbound N Nebraska Avenue @ E Fowler Avenue

Eastbound W Gandy Boulevard @ S Westshore Boulevard

Eastbound Adamo Drive @ S 50th Street / S Tamiami Trail

Eastbound E Hillsborough Avenue @ N 22nd Street

Westbound E Hillsborough Avenue @ N 22nd Street

Eastbound E Waters Avenue / CR 584 @ US 41 / N Florida Avenue

Southbound N Himes Avenue @ W Hillsborough Avenue

Southbound S 50th Street / S Tamiami Trail @ Adamo Drive

Southbound S Dale Mabry Highway @ W Gandy Boulevard

Southbound S Manhattan Avenue @ W Gandy Boulevard

Northbound S Westshore Boulevard @ W Gandy Boulevard

Southbound US 41 / N Florida Avenue @ E Waters Avenue / CR 584

Eastbound W Gandy Boulevard @ S Dale Mabry Highway

Westbound W Gandy Boulevard @ S Westshore Boulevard

Westbound W Waters Avenue / CR 584 @ N Armenia Avenue

Eastbound W Waters Avenue / CR 584 @ N Armenia Avenue

Eastbound W Kennedy Boulevard @ N Ashley Drive

St. Petersburg Red Light Camera Intersections:

Here's a list of the 10 intersections:

•4th Street / Gandy Boulevard

•34th Street 1st Avenue N

•4th Street / 54th Avenue N

•34th Street / 1st Avenue S

•4th Street / 22nd Avenue N

•34th Street / 22nd Avenue S

•6th Street / 5th Avenue S

•66th Street / 38th Avenue N

•34th Street / 38th Avenue N

•66th Street at Tyrone Boulevard - 22nd Avenue N

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