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Red-Light Runners, Close Calls Captured on Video

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has released another round of red-light runners that shows a near collision, a pedestrian's close call, a motorist barreling through an intersection after the light had been red for 98 seconds, and more.

 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has posted a seventh round of video clips showing what happens when "aggressive, impatient or inatttentive motorists" run red lights at busy intersections.

The aim is to raise public awareness and cut back on the incidence of red-light runners.

The latest round of clips show, among other things, a near collision, a pedestrian's close call and a motorist barreling through an intersection after the light had been red for 98 seconds.

Through the county's Red Light Enforcement Program, deputies began to issue notices of violation on December 29, 2009.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies review each photograph and corresponding data to determine if there is a violation of Florida State Statute 316.075 (1)(c)(1).

A red-light violation will cost the registered owner of the vehicle $158.

The year 2011 saw 28,119 citations issued for running red lights at the six intersections outfitted with cameras (see chart below). That , a 7.8 percent decrease that law enforcement officials credited to the installation of red-light cameras.

Close to home, cameras are watching drivers 24 hours a day at the entrance to the at Brandon Town Centre and Brandon Boulevard, and at Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road.

The mall entrance in 2011 accounted for 29.3 percent of the county's red-light violations, making it the second-most dangerous crossroads for red-light runners at intersections outfitted with cameras.

The intersection ranked second to Fletcher Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, which had 401 more red-light citations than the year before. The mall intersection had one camera while the Fletcher and Bruce B. Downs intersection was equipped with three.

“I think part of the reason that the Brandon intersection ranks so high is you have a lot of impatient shoppers who just don’t want to wait,” Cpl. Troy Morgan, who oversees the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office's red-light camera program, said in a February Brandon Patch report.

Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road generated 2,546 red light citations in 2011 — 16 fewer than the year before — an average of almost seven red light violations a day.

RED-LIGHT CAMERA VIOLATIONS Intersection Number of Violations 2010 Number of Violations 2011 Percentage Change Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fletcher Avenue 7,875 8,645 9.78% Waters Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway 7,233 2,759 -61.86% Brandon Town Centre Drive and Brandon Boulevard (Westfield Brandon)
6,748 * 8,240 22.11% Waters Avenue and Anderson Road 5,418 5,132 -5.28% Bell Shoals Road and Bloomingdale Avenue 2,562 2,546 -0.62% Sligh Avenue and Habana Avenue 671 797 18.78% TOTAL 30,507 28,119 -7.83% Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office * Note: The red-light camera at Brandon Town Center was installed in April 2010.

Collectively, the six intersections reportedly had about a 40 percent decrease in crashes since the camers were installed. Records show 395 crashes in 2008, 275 crashes in 2009, 270 crashes in 2010 and 240 in 2011.

Motorists caught running a red light pay a $158 fine. Of that, $75 goes to the county or city where the violation occurred with the remainder going to the state. (See: .)

The company that installed the cameras — American Traffic Solutions — is paid $4,750 per month, per camera.

For those not sold on red light cameras — and that opposition includes a recent USF study that questioned the need for red-light cameras — Morgan suggested a little YouTube.

“You can go the sheriff’s office website and watch the videos of drivers running red lights and judge for yourself," he said. "I think any reasonable person would see the need for the cameras after watching these videos."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-Light Running Is Costly

  • A red-light violation will cost the registered owner of the vehicle $158.

Red-Light Violations High at Westfield Brandon Entrance

  • More than 22 percent of the nearly 34,000 red-light violations recorded at the outfitted with red-light cameras occurred at the entrance to the Westfield Brandon mall, according to a review of statistics provided by the by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.
  • The review showed that on average, 17 motorists ran red lights every day at the Brandon Town Center Drive and Brandon Boulevard entrance, making it the third most dangerous intersection for red-light runners among those outfitted with cameras in Hillsborough County.
  • In all, the red-light cameras captured 33,966 red-light violations at the six Hillsborough intersections.

Legislative Push (and Pull) 

  • Although there have been efforts in the state legislature to ban red-light cameras, one local state representative is

Don't Deny Denial: Case in Point

  • One Brandon driver just didn’t get it when it came to the red-light camera. She was cited three times. "I talked to the driver and she just didn’t understand it. I eventually had to advise her to take another route,” said Cpl. Troy Morgan, who oversees the sheriff’s office’s red-light camera program.

Prevalence and Relevance

  • Red-light cameras are used by more than 400 U.S. communities in 25 states, according to the National Campaign To Stop Red Light Running. Those cameras “have led to significant decreases in intersection violations and crashes, deaths and injuries. At the same time they have saved millions in societal costs,” according to the group’s website.
  • The organization also cites a U.S. Federal Highway Administration-funded study that estimated total societal cost reductions from red light camera programs in seven U.S. cities to be over $14 million per year, or more than $38,000 for each studied red light camera location.

 

 

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Jim May 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Cameras can't stop the real late runners, who cause the crashes. (If cameras worked, sellers wouldn't have these videos.) Real late runners (2+ secs. into the red) don't do it on purpose. They don't know (a visitor) or don't remember (distracted or impaired "local") that a camera is up ahead, so the presence of a camera won't stop them. To cut these real late runs, improve the visual cues that say "signal ahead." Florida's DOT found that better pavement markings (paint!) cut running by up to 74%. Make the signal lights bigger, add backboards, and put the poles on the NEAR side of the corner. Put brighter bulbs in the street lights at intersections. Put up lighted name signs for the cross streets. Cameras come with many side effects: They (indirectly) block emergency vehicles - cars stopped at a camera hesitate to get out of the way! Other side effects: Rearenders, local $$$ sent to Oz, AZ or NYC, where it won't come back, and tourists and shoppers driven away. Want safety, no side effects? Install the visual cues. To cut car/pedestrian accidents, train your kids (and yourself) not to step out just 'cuz the walk sign came on. To cut nuisance running (a fraction of a second late), lengthen the yellows. It's cheap to do so can be done all over town. (Adding four tenths of a second decreases nuisance running by 50%.) Who needs cameras? Who needs their side effects? Who needs gullible politicians who fall for cameras? What snake oil will they fall for next?

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