Crashes have increased at red light camera intersections

- It may be the end of the road for Tampa's 22 red light cameras. Originally promised to make Tampa's busiest intersections safer, new data shows crashes in intersections with the cameras has actually increased since their installation in 2011.  

A report released in January by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found the number of crashes in intersections with red light cameras has actually increased by nearly 15-percent since the cameras were installed.

Read the full report .pdf here: http://www.flhsmv.gov/reports/redlightcameraanalysis2015.pdf

The report also found the number of crashes with serious injury has gone up by 30-percent.

The numbers in Tampa are even more grim. In the eight Tampa intersections monitored, the study found a 50-percent increase in crashes in intersections where red light cameras were put in.

A city-wide audit showed accidents have risen in 19 of its 22 intersections where red light cameras have been installed, according to data provided by the Tampa Police Department. Overall, crashes in all camera-monitored intersections have increased by 39-percent since the city contracted American Traffic Solutions to install and run the cameras.

"The crash data, the safety issues, the dollars. It's not a good return on investment for our citizens," said City Councilor Yvonne Yolie Capin.

Since their installation, the city of Tampa collected $11.7 million in citations from November 2011 to June 2015, $7.2 million of which has been paid to ATS in service fees.

It their first year, the cameras brought in $1,999,829 in revenues for the city, but the city has watched that profit margin dwindle each year since. In the last full year of data, the city collected just $418,752 from red light camera tickets.   

The cost of the program, coupled with its questionable impact on safety has some council members confident the contract with ATS, which expires in April, will not be renewed.

"As it stands, I am more than confident that contract will not pass. It's more than the $160 ticket. if stopped the crashes, if we saw the safety value. the amount of investment for return in value isn't there," Councilor Capin explained.

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