Cameras in Hillsborough will see red listen03/06/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Hillsborough County Commissioners today approved an ordinance to mount cameras at 10 major intersections in the county to catch red light violators.
Commissioner Mark Sharpe said he would prefer the county not do anything that would attempt to enhance the revenue potential with the cameras, such as adjusting the length of yellow light.
The length of yellow lights is crucial in the discussion because of the concern among many people, including Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, that cameras at intersections actually could increase rear-end accidents.
Citizen Steve Burden said previous studies show it is actually more dangerous to install red light cameras at intersections.
Although once controversial, more and more communities are using the camera’s throughout the state and the country, and legislation may be implemented this year in Tallahassee establishing uniform standards.
Another resident critical of installing cameras was Charles Smalling. He said the cameras were not about public safety at all, but more about extracting money from Florida residents.
Cognizant of that attitude, Commissioners and County officials seemed intent on ensuring citizens that the goal wasn’t to play "gotcha," but to make streets safer.