ST. PETERSBURG — This spring, the city voted to scrap its red-light cameras, becoming the first large city in the Tampa Bay area to do so. The cameras will officially go dark no later than 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, which is the end of the city's fiscal year.
In the meantime, the city has entered into a four-month, $25,000 agreement with camera vendor American Traffic Solutions to provide access to information the city will need to process any tickets between now and then.
Here are other things to know about the wind down of the program:
If I get a ticket on Sept. 30, will I still have to pay it?
Will the way I pay or fight a ticket change?
No, the process will remain the same. Drivers who get a red-light citation have the option of paying the $158 fine or requesting an administration hearing at City Hall.
If I get a ticket between now and next Tuesday, how long before I get a notice?
It depends. According to Evan Mory, the city's transportation and parking management director, ATS has until Oct. 15 to send potential violations to the Police Department. Employees there review the footage and decide whether to issue citations. ATS will then have until Oct. 31 to send all remaining violations.
"Within first few days of November is the latest anybody should be getting a violation," Mory said.
What will happen to the cameras themselves?
ATS will be shutting the cameras off Tuesday, but the company has until Oct. 31 to remove them. The city and ATS have not decided on a date by which poles and other remaining equipment must be removed.
Could they ever come back?
Mayor Rick Kriseman, a camera proponent, has said repeatedly that he wants to continue to monitor the 10 intersections with cameras. If he sees red-light runners increasing with the cameras gone, he would bring the topic back up for discussion.
Have another question about the program? Contact Kameel Stanley at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643. Follow @cornandpotatoes.