Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenneth City first in Pinellas to get red light cameras

KENNETH CITY — This town has long been known for strict enforcement of speed limits but now it's going to the next level — red light cameras, the first in Pinellas, are expected to be turned on Thursday.

The cameras will capture still images and video of violations at three intersections: 54th Avenue N at 58th Street, 54th Avenue N at 62nd Street, and 58th Street at 46th Avenue N.

At least one more red light camera will be added to the bunch at 66th Street and 46th Avenue N when construction at that intersection is complete. And another could also be installed at 62nd Street and 46th Avenue N pending the results of a traffic study.

Drivers won't have to worry too much about getting a ticket during the first 30 days the cameras are up. Town officials said warning notices will be sent to the owners of vehicles who run the lights and no fine will be assessed during that time. But come Halloween, the real nightmare will begin when police officers start issuing tickets for $158, which can increase to $264 or even higher if not paid promptly enough. No points will be assessed against a driver's license.

"The warning period will give residents an opportunity to become familiar with the system," said Kenneth City police Cpl. Thomas Goldberg.

"We encourage drivers to slow down and definitely stop on red before the actual citations begin."

Kenneth City police are pitching the cameras as part of an overall safety program.

"This is a public safety program, and our goal is to deter drivers from running red lights," Goldberg said. "We want to make intersections safer for vehicles and pedestrians."

Police Chief Doug Pasley is even offering advice to drivers about the best way to safely approach an intersection.

"Drivers should always slow down and prepare to make a complete stop when a light turns yellow," Pasley said. "Always yield to pedestrians as they have the right of way and always come to a full and complete stop before turning right on red. Make sure the roadway is clear before proceeding and work with us to improve traffic light safety in our community."

Town officials also see the potential for plumping the town's coffers.

During a July budget workshop, Mayor Teresa Zemaitis criticized Pasley for telling officers to be more lenient when it comes to ticketing drivers.

But Allen Schopp, the council member who oversees the Police Department, said the loss of revenue would be made up by the tickets generated from the cameras.

It's unclear how much money the cameras will generate when the town will receive $67.50 from every ticket, according to figures from the Pinellas County Clerk of Court. The town has to pay American Traffic Solutions a flat monthly fee of $3,750 per camera for small and $4,750 per camera for larger intersections, Schopp said, as long as the town exceeds that amount in fines. If the town does not, it will not have to pay ATS that month.

Schopp stressed, however, that the town is not installing the cameras to increase fines, but to improve safety. And, if all works well, he said, the number of fines will go down because people will obey the law.

"This to stop people from running lights, not revenue," Schopp said. "If we didn't make any money and it prevented red light running, I would be happy."

Reach Anne Lindberg at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

By the numbers

Where does it go?

Run a red light and it will cost you $158, but that does not all go to the local government. Here's the

breakdown:

$15.80



Public records modification trust fund

$63



State general revenue

$2.70



Brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation

$67.50



Municipality or county

$9



Department of Health trust fund

Source: Pinellas County Clerk of Court

Kenneth City first in Pinellas to get red light cameras 09/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.