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Red-Light Runners Caught on Video; Brandon Intersection Ranks High

‎The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office keeps statistics on red-light runners at six intersections in the Tampa Bay area. Guess which Brandon intersection ranked highest?

More than 22 percent of the nearly 34,000 red-light violations recorded at the six Tampa Bay intersections outfitted with red-light cameras occurred at the entrance to Westfield Brandon, according to a review of statistics provided by the by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The review shows that on average, 17 motorists run red lights every day at the Brandon Town Center Drive and Brandon Boulevard, making ranking it the third most dangerous crossroads for red-light runners at intersections outfitted with cameras by the county.    

The cameras captured 7,589 instances of drivers ignoring lights between Jan. 1 2010 and Feb. 28 2011, according to the sheriff’s report.

“We’ve even had the same people cited multiple times,” said Cpl. Troy Morgan, who oversees the sheriff’s office’s red-light camera program. "I talked to one driver and she just didn’t understand it. I eventually had to advise her to take another route.”  

In all, the red-light cameras captured 33,966 red-light violations at the six Hillsborough intersections.  

RED-LIGHT CAMERA VIOLATIONS Jan. 1, 2010 through Feb. 28, 2011 INTERSECTION No. of Violations Percentage of Total Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fletcher Avenue 9,070 26.70% Waters Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway 7,625 22.45% Brandon Town Center Drive and Brandon Boulevard 7,589 22.34% Waters Avenue and Anderson Road 6,110 17.99% Bell Shoals Road and Bloomingdale Avenue 2,830 8.33% Sligh Avenue and Habana Avenue 742 2.18% TOTAL 33,966   Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Motorists might avoid getting nabbed on the scene after running a red light but the law makes sure they pay up with a $158 fine.  Of that, $75 goes to the county or city where the violation occurred with the remainder going to the state.

The company that installed the cameras — American Traffic Solutions, in Hillsborough County — is paid $4,750 per month, per camera. The company maintains 10 cameras at the six intersections.  

Tampa, St. Petersburg and Oldsmar recently voted to install red-light cameras. Temple Terrace already has the cameras in place.

Morgan said he has no doubt the cameras make drivers more vigilant and help to save lives.   “Obviously, the cameras are not making the situation worse,” said Morgan, who points to statistics that show the number of crashes at the six monitored intersections has fallen from 395 in 2008 to 270 in 2010.

The number of accidents with injuries at the same intersections has been caught in half over the same time.  

“The cameras are doing what they were intended to do and that is to make people more aware so they modify their behavior,” he said. "The cameras also do something law enforcement cannot do and that is provide 24-hour, 365-day-a-year coverage.”  

Florida legislators last year passed a law permitting the use of red-light cameras. A vote this year put their use in jeopardy. The May 2 vote sent the repeal bill (HB 4087) to the Florida Senate where it stalled in committee.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Richard Corcoran, a New Port Richey Republican, believes the law is merely a gravy train for the companies who provide the cameras.   Corcoran has not yet decided if he will reintroduce the legislation.  

“We are going to look at all our options and decide later down the line,” said Jared Ochs, Corcoran’s legislative assistant May 11. The state legislature reconvenes in January 2012.  

“Unfortunate,” is how Morgan described the possibility of losing the cameras.

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

Tammy Morningstar May 11, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Referring to the following comment...“We’ve even had the same people cited multiple times,” said Cpl. Troy Morgan, who oversees the sheriff’s office’s red-light camera program"I talked to one driver and she just didn’t understand it. I eventually had to advise her to take another route.” WHY does she still have a license if she does not understand she is running a red light!!
St Pete Driver May 11, 2011 at 09:46 PM
How many of these citations are for right turn on red violations?
St Pete Driver May 11, 2011 at 09:49 PM
She still has a license because red light camera tickets are ordinance violations, not moving violations. You cannot get points for a red light camera ticket. You can get 70 red light camera citations and never lose your license. They have to do it that way because civil ordinance violations do not have to meet constitutional requirements like moving violations do, and red light cameras do not meet constitutional standards.
Kevin Brady May 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM
Thanks for the question St. Pete Driver - The number of violations for right-turn violations is less than 3 percent at the Brandon Town Center intersection.
Kevin Brady May 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM
I need to correct that number for the number of right on red violations at the Brandon Town Center intersection. None of the violations at that intersection were for a right on red. Of the total number of red light camera violations in the county, less than 3.5% were right on red violations. Thanks to Corporal Morgan for correcting my error.
St Pete Driver May 12, 2011 at 01:25 PM
It would be very interesting to see the month by month totals for these intersections. That will show us if driver behavior is really changing or not.
Wanda Jocke May 13, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Knowing the possibilities of cameras makes me very caution when there is a yellow light.
M December 24, 2011 at 12:35 AM
Instead of going after those for running red lights why not go after the cause of those who are running the red lights. For the most part its the stupidity of those not paying attention and distracted by personal objects in the vehicle, verses those who can not stop due to vehicle weight. Not to mention the fact that iv see the timing of the traffic lights between green, yellow, and red; adjusted to get the photo of people speeding threw the lights. Isn't there a set ratio between changes to give a reasonable amount of time to stop ? Why is it that there changed after the fact that the traffic camera has been put in?

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