St. Pete evaluates red-light cameras, adds new ones - FOX 13 News

St. Pete evaluates red-light cameras, adds new ones

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The City of St. Petersburg is adding more red light cameras -- some at intersections that already have cameras ,and some at new intersections. The three new crossroads are U.S. 19 at 5th and 22 Avenues North, and 66th Street at 13th Avenue North.

Other cameras will appear "mostly at existing intersections that have cameras in one or two directions where we have been petitioned or requested by people, saying ‘why do you have it in that direction when all the people are running the red light in the other direction?' " transportation director Joe Kubicki told FOX 13 News.

The additional cameras should be on duty by the end of November.

Kubicki also shared data for St. Petersburg's first nine months of using cameras to enforce red light violations. It shows a slight decline in crashes in intersections resulting in injury, a slight increase in overall crashes in intersections, and a big drop in rear-end collisions.

One surprise: 90 percent of the "notices of violation" go to first-time offenders.

"I think it's very good," Kubicki said. "Because it means that people aren't getting a second notification, i.e. that they're learning a lesson."

The number of notifications remains steady, but here is another surprise: In July, human reviewers hired by the police department rejected 70 percent of the alleged violations submitted by the camera vendor. St. Petersburg hires retired police officers, working part-time at civilian wages, to review every videotaped infraction.

"They've issued tickets in the past, they've seen these kind of violations over and over again. It just adds a little bit more element of professionalism to this kind of environment where we're trying to weed out and only cite the worst of the worst," police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

As for the money, the fines collected by the city totaled nearly $2.9 million over the nine month period. Much of that is shared with the state.

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