Tampa, FL -- The 51 red light cameras in Tampa will remain. In fact, more could eventually be added. The city council voted 6-1 Thursday to extend the red light camera program for two more years.
"It is our belief and it has been since day one that these red light cameras are changing behavior and our families in this community are safer as a result of it," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said after the vote.
The vote was a result of a compromise put forth by the mayor that will require 25% of the revenue from program go to safety improvements at the intersections where the cameras are located. Based on 2013 numbers, that would be about $400,000.
Since the cameras were installed Buckhorn and the police department have insisted the program is helping to make the city's roads safer by changing driver's habits.
"Crashes are down, people's lives have been saved, catastrophic injuries and damages are down and I think these cameras work," he argued.
Yet some council members still expressed concerns about the program after Thursday's vote.
Council Chairman Charlie Miranda told 10 News he's concerned the citations are really just an expensive parking ticket, nothing more.
"If you do have repeaters nothing happens. So no tickets, no points, no nothing. So you're anonymous even though you're guilty and that's what bothers me," Miranda said.
It was also noted Thursday that if the number of red light camera tickets continues to drop because more drivers are following the law, revenue could continue to decline to the point where the program loses money.
"We could enter a scenario where it's costing the city money, but we may decide it's a very valuable tool to keep it in play," Dennis Rogero, The mayor's chief of staff told the council.