The cost to end the contract with the company that runs the red light camera program could be at least $54,000 if city leaders decide to cancel the contract by July 1, according to city records.
In light of Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke asking Clearwater and other cities to stop issuing red light camera violations, officials looked to see what it would take to get out of the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems.
Burke argued there are flaws in the system and that his office is spending a disproportionate amount of time dealing with the fallout from violators. Burke said a significant number of red light violations are issued erroneously to the owner of a vehicle, not the driver.
"These citizens are upset with the poor communication, insufficient information and resulting unfair penalties," Burke wrote in a letter dated Feb. 20 to city leaders in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Kenneth City, South Pasadena and Oldsmar.
Because of Burke’s letter, Pam Akin, city attorney asked:
“What would be the consequences to the city under the contract?”
Canceling the entire contract by July 1 would cost $54,000, according to city records.
City leaders are looking to review the six-month trial program's success. The city could be locked into the contract for another two and a half years or have to pay a fee to get out of it. Success is dependent on a 15 percent decrease in violations and the program is cost neutral.
The cameras were installed in July 2012 and warnings were issued to violators. Red light running violations at intersections with cameras have decreased each month since fines started to be issued. The system has helped police in criminal and crash investigations and is financially self sustaining, so far, according to records.
In addition to Burke's directive, circulating the House in Tallahassee is a bill that would repeal cities right to use red light cameras.
- Red Light Camera Revenue Tops $570K in Clearwater
- Pinellas Clerk Asks Clearwater to Stop Writing Red Light Camera Tickets
- Cameras Cut Red Light Running in Clearwater
- Red Light Cameras Reducing Crashes in Florida
- Red Light Camera Locations in Clearwater
- Red Light Cameras Coming to Clearwater
- Red Light Cameras Running in Clearwater
- City Approved Red Light Camera Proposal
Sign up for the free Clearwater Patch email newsletter to stay connected to your community.