St. Petersburg, Florida -- Mayor Bill Foster announced Thursday he has instituted a change to an area of St. Pete's red light citation policies, enabling some people to get a break until the problem is fixed.
Mayor Foster said he made the decision in response to Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court Ken Burke's concerns regarding the policies in effect for St. Pete and five other Pinellas cities.
See the full letter and list of objections against the cameras here
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After consulting with staff, Mayor Foster said he will impose a moratorium that begins immediately on issuing uniform traffic citations -- which increases the fine from $158 to $264 -- to rental car drivers who did not receive their citations within the 30-day time limit.
This issue was brought to light recently in the instance of motorists who received red light citations while in a rental car. The rental car agency is the first recipient of the citation due to vehicle being registered under their company, so by the time it gets to the driver, the fine has already gone up to the higher cost.
With the moratorium, those violations will be dismissed after rental firms and vehicle owners return the affidavits.
In a statement regarding his decision, Mayor Foster said:
"St. Petersburg will work with County Clerk of Court Ken Burke, our fellow Pinellas municipalities and the Florida League of Cities to resolve Mr. Burke's concerns by suggesting modifications to the state legislation during the upcoming Legislative Session and by making changes to the wording of the city's notice of violation."
The Mayor also said he continues to have great faith in the effectiveness of the city's "Stop on Red" campaign and plans to continue the use of red light cameras in St. Petersburg that went up in September 2011.