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St. Petersburg may get rid of red light cameras after yellow light extensions

6:23 PM, Mar 5, 2014   |    comments
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ST PETERSBURG, Florida -- Mayor Rick Kriseman says it may soon be time for the city to retire its red light cameras and the move may take place as soon as this fall.

In a pre-emptive move a day before city council discusses red light camera problems, the mayor issued a memo saying, "we will remove the camera" when the number of violations drop enough that red light camera (RLC) revenues fall below expenses.

READ: Kriseman's memo to council

In 2013, a 10 Investigates series exposed how short yellow lights were costing drivers millions, $158 at a time.  The state responded, ordering cities and counties to extend their yellow lights to safer intervals.

The result was plummeting red light camera revenue across Florida.

Kriseman said if the cameras have altered behavior and reduced violations significantly, he would retire the program when it was "revenue-neutral."  According to his memo, city staff projects the program will start losing money by September.

TIMELINE: 10 News' Short Yellows Investigation
MAP: Short Yellows in Your Neighborhood

The announcement comes on the eve of a city council meeting where the eight members are slated to once again debate refunds for drivers wrongly-ticketed. Council has been split on both the issues of refunds and keeping the RLC program, but momentum to kill the cameras has been building. Recent polls also indicated residents now oppose the cameras by a convincing margin.

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