In our last post, we discussed how the Mayor and City Council of St. Petersburg, Florida had unanimously agreed to install cameras to catch drivers running red lights at 20 of the mostdangerous intersections within the city. In this post, we will take a look at the costs of such a program and examine the city’s reasons for making such a firm commitment to this course of action.
The installation plan is estimated to cost St. Petersburg $5.3 million through 2013, but that cost is offset by additional estimated revenue of $8.2 million created by the cameras in the same period. St. Petersburg stands to net $3 million on this deal over a three-year period. Ticket prices will start at $158 and will increase to $256 if not paid within 30 days.
Firmly convinced the city has a problem with red-light running, City Council members haven’t let a study concluding St. Petersburg has an intersection hazard rate lower than the national average deter their fight for the installation of these cameras.
They are sure people will think twice before they blow through an intersection after receiving a few of these costly tickets, and expect to see the number of T-bone crashes dramatically decrease at these intersections. The City Council, along with St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon, say the horrific nature of right-angle crashes dictates a need for a crackdown on red-light running.
St. Petersburg is in the process of seeking contractor bids for camera installation. The city will review the program three years after installation to determine whether or not it has made enough of an impact to be phased out.
Source: St. Petersburg Times, “Red light cameras could be in St. Petersburg by summer,” October 1, 2010