Red Light Cameras For St. Pete: To Promote Safety or Revenue?
The St. Petersburg counsel committee recently voted to install twenty security cameras at St. Petersburg’s most crash-prone intersections. Mayor Bill Foster and the City Council claim that the reason behind the installation is not the $4.3 million ticket revenue expected, but public safety.
The reality is that studies on whether cameras even help reduce traffic accidents are inconclusive. Some studies actually show the cameras increase the number of rear-end collisions. The simple math indicates revenue may be the true reason behind the camera install. The plan will cost about $5.3 million to execute over the next three years, while ticket revenue will be about $8.2 million over the same time, netting St. Petersburg almost $3 million.
Pinellas County drivers who ignore red lights will receive a $158 ticket. If the fine remains unpaid for 30 days, it will increase to $256.
The projected “dangerous” intersections where cameras are to be installed are as follows:
1. 34th Street and 1st Avenue South
2. 31st Street and 22nd Avenue South
3. 20th Street and 5th Avenue North
4. 34th Street and 22nd Avenue South
5. 49th Street and 1st Avenue North
6. 66th Street and 1st Avenue North
7. Dr. MLK Blvd. and Gandy Blvd.
8. 49th Street and 38th Avenue North
9. Tyrone Blvd. and 38th Avenue North
10. 8th Street and Fourth Avenue South