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Clearwater City Council to vote on renewal of red light camera contract

Posted at 6:03 AM, Oct 16, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Clearwater City Council members will decide on whether or not to renew their contract with Redflex Traffic Systems (RTS), which expires on October 31.

City council tasked Clearwater Police to look into a red light camera program in April of 2011. The red light cameras went live by July 1, 2012. They were placed at Belcher and Gulf To Bay both eastbound and westbound and at Ft. Harrison and Chestnut eastbound. Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter says the intersection of Belcher and Gulf To Bay has the highest rate crash rate in the city.

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At Monday's meeting, Chief Slaughter gave council members an overview. Slaughter called the experience with RTS "positive."

To pay for the upkeep of each intersection, the city shells out $4,270 per month per intersection. Slaughter says the money collected from violations basically pays for the program. From the start of the program until now, red light violation totaled up to more than $9 million. The city raked in more than $3 million. If red light runners do not pay those violations, they are upgraded. Those payments go to Pinellas County.

Chief Slaughter said in 2018, there were 17,694 red light camera violation letters sent out. He said that's out of the 19.4 million vehicles counted at those intersections. In all, Slaughter says violators are between 0.01% and 0.05% of drivers.

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Other data shows, most violators are not Clearwater residents. 59% are other Florida residents, 15% are out-of-state drivers and 26% are Clearwater residents.

Clearwater City Council will meet Wednesday night at 6 to discuss whether or not to renew the contract with RTS.