Red light cameras recently installed in Oldsmar to help curb red-light crashes.
St. Petersburg, Florida -- On Friday, Oldsmar joined the list of cities giving the green light to red-light cameras. The city installed them at four intersections.
So how has the system worked elsewhere? After six months, St. Pete's transportation director gives the cameras a thumbs up and he's considering accelerating the program.
"I absolutely think it's changing behavior," says Joe Kubicki.
But when you watch video captured by the cameras, it's clear people continue to run red lights. Right now, St. Pete has 10 intersections with cameras and each month the city sends out about 3,500 violation notices.
"They are absolutely still running red lights," says Kubicki of drivers. "It's an epidemic out there."
So why does Kubicki think the camera's are doing some good? While accidents still happen, he says the numbers are dropping. City statistics show that red-light related crashes at camera intersections are down 59%.
"I think St. Petersburg's safer," Kubicki says.
Still among drivers, the camera's get mixed reviews. Here's just a sampling of responses from drivers at 4th and Gandy:
"I think they're great."
"They take pictures at the wrong time I think."
"They piss me off; I've already been hit twice and at $158 a whack-not fun."
Revenue from the cameras is divided among the city, the state, and the private company that runs the system. In six months, St. Petersburg retained about $400,000 for its police budget.
So the cameras do bring in cash, but with early numbers in St. Pete also showing a decrease in crashes, you're likely to see more intersections with camera flashes.