During today’s City Council meeting, Mayor Bill Foster reiterated his recently announced changes to a portion of the city’s red light camera policy to City Council.
In response to Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court Ken Burke’s concerns regarding St. Petersburg and five other Pinellas cities’ red light camera policies, Mayor Bill Foster instituted changes to a specific area of St. Petersburg’s citation policies while language to the state law regarding red light cameras is reviewed.
After consulting with staff, Mayor Foster has made an administrative decision to impose a moratorium, beginning immediately, on issuing uniform traffic citations to those who swear in an affidavit that they were not driving the motor vehicle at the time of the red light running infraction.
In a statement, the city’s Legal Department said, “The city will not issue uniform traffic citations to those persons identified in sworn affidavits submitted to the City within 30 days stating that the motor vehicle was at the time of the violation in the care, custody and control of another person. The affidavit must include the name, address, date of birth and if known the driver’s license number of the person who did have control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation (note instructions on Notice of Violation).
Submitting a false affidavit is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.”
More than 80 municipalities in Florida currently operate red light camera programs to reduce dangerous incidents of red light running.
“St. Petersburg will work with County Clerk of Court Ken Burke, our fellow Pinellas municipalities and the Florida League of Cities to resolve Mr. Burke’s concerns by suggesting modifications to the state legislation during the upcoming Legislative Session and by changing the wording of the city’s notice of violation,” said Mayor Bill Foster.
The Mayor also said he continues to have great faith in the effectiveness of the city’s “Stop on Red” campaign and plans to continue the use of red light cameras in St. Petersburg.