Red-light cameras possibly doing more damage than good in Tampa Bay area

8 On Your Side

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been the center of conversation for years – most recently in Clearwater – and now 8 On Your Side is uncovering the effectiveness of red-light cameras throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Across the state of Florida, more than 19,000 crashes have been caused in intersections with red-light cameras, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ most recent analysis.

The report only includes select jurisdictions across Florida but of those in the Tampa Bay area, three out of the four jurisdictions saw an increase in crashes after the implementation.

Compared to the previous year, here’s how many crashes happened in those jurisdictions:

Red Light cameras

Take a look at how many crashes that have happened at some Tampa Bay jurisdictions since the implementation of red light cameras. Hover over the bar to see the exact numbers.

Source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  • Lakeland: 36.45 percent (increase)
  • Manatee Co.: 4.16 percent (increase)
  • Sarasota: -24.27 percent (decrease)
  • Tampa: 37.86 percent (increase)

8 On Your Side reached out to local jurisdictions this week to find out which intersections have seen the most red-light camera violations. While many city authorities didn’t respond to the request, here are some of the intersections with the most red-light violations in the area.

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Red-light camera intersections

Of the cities that responded, here are the most ticketed red-light intersections in the Tampa Bay area during the last fiscal year.

Even some of the bay area’s smallest communities contributed significant money to the states growing red-light camera revenue.

According to New Port Richey Chief of Police Kim Bogart, $4,238,283.41 has been generated within the city from red-light cameras. All of that has been allocated between the jurisdiction in which the violation was photographed and the Florida Department of Revenue.

Haines City Police Department spokesman Mike Ferguson said the city saw more than 20,170 red-light violations in the last fiscal year. That generated $1,383,768.79.

Some cities in Tampa Bay that do not utilize red-light cameras are:

  • Auburndale
  • Bradenton
  • Dade City
  • Davenport
  • Gulfport
  • Lake Wales
  • Largo
  • Pinellas Park
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tarpon Springs
  • Winter Haven
  • Zephyrhills

During this year’s legislative session, Pinellas County Rep. Jeff Brandes filed SB 622, which would have repealed the use of “traffic infraction detectors” used to “enforce specified provisions” for drivers and is currently on the Infrastructure and Security Committee agenda. 

The bill was withdrawn from consideration after the Infrastructure and Security Committee chose not to push the bill forward.

Under current law, drivers are fined $158 for being photographed by the cameras failing to stop at traffic lights. 

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