Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough red-light cameras have generated more than 24,000 tickets

TAMPA — More than 24,000 tickets — at $158 each — have been issued in Hillsborough County since cameras were installed at six intersections to catch red-light runners, the Sheriff's Office said.

That's a total of $3.9 million generated by the cameras, assuming all the drivers are found guilty.

The number of crashes with serious injuries at Hillsborough County intersections has decreased since the cameras were installed, said Larry McKinnon, a Sheriff's Office spokesman. That conclusion is based on observations by deputies. Firm numbers were not available, he said.

Money generated from the cameras goes to the county's general fund and other government entities, not to the Sheriff's Office, McKinnon said.

The Sheriff's Office released a new video Tuesday showing drivers running red lights. The video was distributed to underscore the importance of the controversial cameras, McKinnon said.

The cameras are installed at certain intersections in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. Critics say the cameras do little to improve safety, can actually increase accidents through rear-end collisions and are largely intended to raise money.

"They can see it's not just to generate funds," McKinnon said. "We're actually catching hard-core red-light runners that are killing people."

Deputies have issued 24,887 tickets since January. A portion of the money, $4,750, generated by the tickets is paid to a vendor for installing and maintaining the cameras, McKinnon said. For every $158 ticket paid, the state Department of Revenue gets $70, the state Department of Health administrative trust fund gets $10, the brain and spinal cord injury trust fund gets $3 and the county gets $75.

About 40 people a month challenge their red-light citations, McKinnon said, but only about half show up in court.

The video shows some drivers caught on camera nearly crash. Some speed up past yellow lights. Others don't stop before making a right turn.

McKinnon said the red-light cameras are working because there have been fewer crashes with serious injuries at busy intersections.

The number of tickets issued each month has remained steady. Deputies review footage, and a small percentage of drivers escape penalty. And cameras don't activate when a motorist turning right on red rolls unless the car is moving faster than 15 mph, McKinnon said.

McKinnon said deputies aren't trying to sneak up on drivers.

"We're not out just for numbers," he said. "We're trying to educate people."

Smile for the cameras

Ten cameras are at these six intersections in Hillsborough County: Fletcher Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Sligh Avenue and Habana Avenue, Brandon Boulevard and Grand Regency Boulevard, Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road, Waters Avenue and N Dale Mabry Highway, and Waters Avenue and Anderson Road. See the cameras at work in a video released by the Sheriff's Office at video.tampabay.com.

Hillsborough red-light cameras have generated more than 24,000 tickets 11/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Nation

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  2. June 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series.
  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Philando Castile family reaches $3 million settlement in death

    Crime

    MINNEAPOLIS — The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last year, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement in his death, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the Minneapolis suburb that employed the officer.

    A handout dashboard camera image of Officer Jeronimo Yanez firing at Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., July 6, 2016. [Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension via The New York Times]
  5. From the food editor: Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders

    Cooking

    I decided my almond chicken obsession was becoming a bit much.

    Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.