By MIKE SALINERO, The Tampa Tribune
Published: February 21, 2008
TAMPA - Drivers who run red lights are one step closer to having their infractions documented by cameras.
Hillsborough County commissioners Wednesday agreed to hold a public hearing March 6 for an ordinance that will allow the sheriff's office to set up the cameras at some of the area's most dangerous intersections. Though the commission has not yet taken a final vote, most of the commissioners expressed support for the ordinance, sponsored by commission chairman Ken Hagan.
"I'm convinced lives will be saved by using red light cameras," Hagan said.
Drivers caught running a red light by the cameras would be charged with a civil infraction similar to a parking ticket. The fine would be $125. The information will be kept by the county, but insurance companies can obtain it through a public records request.
Hagan said there will be a 60-day warning period before fines are assessed, and the sheriff's office will conduct a public awareness campaign.
Commissioner Mark Sharpe said he appreciated Hagan's efforts, calling red-light running an "epidemic."
"If you're waiting at a red light and you're first, wait two seconds because someone is probably going to come flying through," Sharpe said.
Hagan said that in other counties and municipalities the cameras have sharply decreased the number of red light offenses and deaths caused by red light runners.
The final list of intersections has not been formally decided, but the sheriff's office most likely would set them up at the area's 10 most dangerous intersections. Here's the list of those intersections:
•North Dale Mabry Highway and North Lakeview Drive
•North Dale Mabry Highway and West Waters Avenue
•East Lumsden Road and Bryan Road
•East Hillsborough Avenue and Harney Road
•West Linebaugh Avenue and Henderson Road
•Providence Road and Town Center Boulevard
•U.S. 41 South and Gibsonton Drive
•West Brandon Boulevard and North Kings Avenue
•East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South Kingsway Road
•East Fletcher Avenue and Interstate 275