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Red Light Cameras Could Get Repeal in Clearwater

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.

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.

Related coverage:

  • 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

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James C. Walker March 06, 2013 at 02:05 AM
If Clearwater can end the contract with Redflex for only $54,000 dollars, it would be a terrific bargain. Red light camera tickets strip over $100 per ticket from the Clearwater economy which damages employment and economic activity throughout the Clearwater area. AND the cameras do not improve safety as much as simply adding one second to the yellow intervals on the traffic lights. The metric of a 15% reduction in violations is utter nonsense. You can almost always get a 60% to 90% reduction in violations by simply adding one second to the yellow intervals. The 15% number is a trick by Redflex to set up a metric that is obtainable with virtually no effort and no real safety results. Clearwater should drop the cameras, increase the yellow intervals by one second, and keep hundreds of thousands of dollars circulating in the Clearwater economy over the next ten years. If you agree, call your local council officials to insist the camera program be ended and the yellow light intervals be lengthened by an average of one second to improve safety overall. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, recent visitor to Florida in January
Stephen March 06, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Read more on the RLC scam including the REDFLEX BRIBERY SCANDAL: http://www.banthecams.org/Taking-on-the-Government/redflex-admits-bribery-scheme-in-two-more-cities.html or http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/40/4041.asp and see: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-red-light-scandal-0303-20130303%2c0%2c3857195.story?page=3 www.motorists.org www.banthecams.org camerafraud on Facebook

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