Tampa Police want to keep red light cameras - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Police want to keep red light cameras

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The City of Tampa says red light cameras are making their roads safer.

The City of St. Petersburg recently voted to end their contract with the company that provides the red light cameras. This week, the Tampa City Council will face a similar vote.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says she will go to the city council meeting to speak in favor of keeping the contract with the company that maintains the camera systems here.

"We are for them because they have reduced crashes and therefore reduced injury and property damage in the city of Tampa," said Chief Castor.

The Tampa Police Department says accidents are down by 33 percent at the original 13 intersections where the red light cameras were placed.

Chief Castor says the cameras were placed in the intersections that have a record of the most accidents in the city.

The number of citations issued is also down by 15 percent, even though the number of red light camera locations has increased.

"Even as we've added more cameras, the citation numbers have dropped in these intersections. So clearly there has been a change in driver behavior. People are stopping for red lights in the city of Tampa now," said Castor.

The Tampa Police department says the red light camera program pays for itself.

The department says it would take eleven full-time officers to monitor the intersections currently monitored by the cameras.

Castor says while the system is automated, it is also supervised by humans.

Castor says there were more than 80,000 events that were monitored by the cameras as possible red light violations, and nearly 61,000 tickets were issued.

More than 19,000 potential tickets were rejected by the review process.

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