Tampa to Keep Red Light Cameras as tickets decline

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Tampa will not be following the lead of the St. Petersburg City Council, which decided this month to disconnect Red Light Cameras, even as the program threatens to lose money as the numbers of tickets declines.

Tampa Police officials issued updated statistics Monday showing a tremendous drop-off in the number of RLC citations issued after the forced re-timing of yellow lights last year, reports Noah Pransky of WTSP/10 News.

Reporting in May by 10 News Investigates led to the Florida Department of Transportation to require longer minimum yellow lights at intersections with RLCs.

Newly released figures show the longer yellows are eating into Tampa’s RLC profitability, with the number of tickets dropping every month since September 2013 — the month where the city instituted longer yellow lights — to less than half

Police also report a decrease in red light-related crashes at intersections with RLCs, dropping from 108 in the first year of the program to 72 in the second.

But 10 Investigates also discovered a number of rear-end crashes occurring at the intersections that were not included in the city’s figures.

RLC Tampa

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.