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. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. Marine colonel on temporary duty at CentCom arrested in Polk prostitution sting

    Macdill

    A Marine colonel on temporary duty at U.S. Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base was among nearly 300 people arrested in a Polk County Sheriff's Office prostitution and human trafficking sting.

  3. Senator says deal set on restoring ACA subsidies ended by Trump

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A leading Republican senator says he and a top Democrat have reached an agreement on a plan to extend federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked.

    President Donald Trump sits for a radio interview in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) DCSW104
  4. Pasco delays Irma food distribution after problems elsewhere

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.

    Pasco County has postponed a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center on Collier Parkway and is seeking an alternative site. Last week, commissioners said they feared a repeat of the long lines of traffic that appeared outside Plant City Stadium on Oct. 9. The nutrition program for people affected by Hurricane Irma had been scheduled to come to Land O' Lakes Oct. 18 to 27.  [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Officials caution residents regarding storm debris removal

    Briefs

    As the Pasco County Solid Waste Department and its contractors continue to remove debris left behind by Hurricane Irma, residents are reminded that the free removal does not include picking up new, green vegetation.