They've been snapping away photos of red light runners for years, but if you live in Lakeland, you may soon see even more of those controversial red light cameras perched high above intersections.
"Our law enforcement department are big believers in it. They believe it is a tool to help them do their job. They believe it's a force multiplier," Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields said Friday.
Lakeland Police Department is recommending the city add 15 more cameras to problematic intersections that they've pinpointed. Fields says new statewide statistics showing the effectiveness of the cameras could influence their decision.
"When you look at the big picture, the country's seeing increases and we're seeing a reduction in those communities, in those intersections that are using this tool as a resource," he said.
Still, the most recent data collection from Lakeland's existing nine cameras show the combined number of crashes, compared to before they were put in place, are about even.
Meanwhile, Tampa Police Department says their red light cameras are making major strides for the safety of 19 intersections across the city. Since their cameras were put into place, crashes have been curbed by 31 percent, and the number of red light violations is also down dramatically.
"That shows that people are really altering their driving patterns, which is what the goal is in all of this. To get people to think about it, not run the red light, and ultimately reduce crashes," said Tampa Police Department's Andrea Davis.
Lakeland City Commissioners requested updated statistics on the effectiveness of their current red light cameras at a workshop on Friday. Once they get that data and input from the community, they'll make a final vote on whether to add them to other intersections across the city.
LINK: Click here for a map of red light cameras in the Tampa Bay area: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/Global/category.asp?C=235310
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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