Confusion surrounds Tampa Bay's red light cameras - WFLA News Channel 8

Confusion surrounds Tampa Bay's red light cameras

Posted: Updated:
Lakeland Police Officer Scott Wisneski review all red light camera violations. Lakeland Police Officer Scott Wisneski review all red light camera violations.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Think you know the rules of the road? What about when it comes to red lights?

If you're driving through an intersection, and the light turns from yellow to red right above you,  have you run the light?

What about if you've just crossed the stop bar?

With red light cameras catching violators in more than 70 Florida communities law enforcement officials say it's pretty clear plenty of drivers are more than a little confused about the law.

"I think a lot of people don't have a clue if they're running a red light or if they're not," said Officer Scott Wisneski who reviews all red light violations caught on camera in the city of Lakeland.

Lakeland currently has 18 red light cameras that Wisneski says catch more than 2,500 red light violators every month.

Click here for: Tampa Bay red light camera locations

"We get a lot of calls here to the office from people thinking 'oh my gosh I ran a red light', and when we look up their files they didn't. And then we get people who call us who do have violations and go 'there's no way I ran that red light', Wisneski said.

Turning right on red causes most of the confusion. Wisneski says red light camera review gives communities some discretion.

He says as long as a driver makes the turn in a slow and cautious manner the turn won't result in a violation.

By contrast, if a police officer at an intersection sees a motorist essentially roll right on red, without coming to a complete stop behind the white stop bar, a citation can and often will be issued.

Wisneski says there are some frequently asked questions that relate to red light running.  Here's a breakdown:

What is a red light violation?

A red-light violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. However, motorists already in the intersection when the signal changes to red, waiting to turn for example, are not considered red-light violators.

What if my car is already in the intersection on a yellow light, but the light turns red before I leave the intersection:

That is not a red light violation. A violation only occurs when a driver enters the intersection, crossing the stop bar, after the signal turns red.

What about turning left?

The law is the same for turn lanes. If a driver is already in the intersection on a green or yellow light and has crossed the stop bar before the signal turns red there is no violation.

Related Content: Hillsborough County's Red Light Cameras
Related Content: Lakeland's Red Light Camera Program FAQ's

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:33:29 GMT
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
  • Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:37:09 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-08-02 01:53:38 GMT
    Alexandria Chery, 16, of OrlandoAlexandria Chery, 16, of Orlando
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.
  • Tampa attorney says taking cover a part of life in Israel

    Tampa attorney says taking cover a part of life in Israel

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:56:30 GMT
    Today in Tampa, young and old, Christians and Jews gathered in Lykes Gaslight Square Park. About 200 of them showed their solidarity and support for Israel in its latest ongoing bloody battle with Hamas. One bay area man watched some of that battle up close. Tampa attorney Mark Wright watched the war unfold on television. Wright is Jewish-American, has friends in Israel and traveled to the Jewish state several times. He said he felt the need to go, to help....
    Today in Tampa, young and old, Christians and Jews gathered in Lykes Gaslight Square Park. About 200 of them showed their solidarity and support for Israel in its latest ongoing bloody battle with Hamas. One bay area man watched some of that battle up close. Tampa attorney Mark Wright watched the war unfold on television. Wright is Jewish-American, has friends in Israel and traveled to the Jewish state several times. He said he felt the need to go, to help....
  • No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:36 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:36:29 GMT
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.