Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater City Council to vote on red light cameras on Thursday

CLEARWATER — A divided City Council will vote Thursday night on whether to bring red light cameras to some of the city's busiest and most dangerous intersections.

A slim majority of council members is leaning in favor. The board voted 3-2 a couple of weeks ago to have staffers draw up a city ordinance that will allow the cameras. They'll vote on that ordinance Thursday.

City officials have been getting phone calls and e-mails from Clearwater residents who have strong opinions on the subject, either pro or con. Some have questioned whether it's all really about revenue for the city.

A discussion about the cameras at a work session Monday showed that the City Council members are still split on the issue. They're divided because different studies have reached different conclusions about the effectiveness of red light cameras.

Council member George Cretekos, who opposes the cameras, referred to "the USF study that some people agree with and some people don't accept." That study found that red light cameras increase the number of rear-end collisions.

"The jury is still out," said Paul Gibson. "It's not clear at all whether you're better off with a system like this."

But John Doran, who wants red light cameras, said there's overwhelming evidence that the devices cut down on red light running and fatal accidents.

"Almost every jurisdiction that puts them in shows a decreasing amount of fines," he said. "People do start to pay attention and they do stop running red lights. We know that because the fines go down."

A 2009 state law allows cities to install cameras at intersections and charges a $158 fine to the registered owner of the vehicle caught on camera running a red light.

For tickets on city and county roads, the state Department of Revenue gets $70, the state Department of Health gets $10, the brain and spinal cord injury trust fund gets $3 and the locality gets $75. For tickets on state roads, the state gets $100, the locality $45 and the trust funds $10 and $3, respectively.

Hillsborough County, which has cameras at six intersections, has received more than $1.8 million in revenue from them this year.

If approved in Clearwater, the cameras would likely be installed early next year. Officials have about 10 dangerous intersections in mind for the cameras, many of them along Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.

In that case, Mayor Frank Hibbard wants signs posted at those intersections notifying drivers about the cameras.

"I want citizens to have fair warning," he said. "Hopefully, that will in itself change behavior."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4160.

FAST FACTS

If you go

What: Clearwater City Council meeting

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Hall, 112 S Osceola Ave.

Also on the agenda: A public hearing on changes to the city's Penny for Pinellas project list for 2011-2020.

.FAST FACTS

If you go

What: Clearwater City Council meeting

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Hall, 112 S Osceola Ave.

Also on the agenda: A public hearing on changes to the city's Penny for Pinellas project list for 2011-2020.

Clearwater City Council to vote on red light cameras on Thursday 11/30/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 7:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  3. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, acitvate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  4. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.