Recently, it was revealed that St. Petersburg crashes spiked ten percent at the ten intersections with red light cameras during the program’s first year; however, Tampa experienced just the opposite.
Motor vehicle accidents in Tampa at intersections with red lights have decreased from the year prior—before there were red light cameras. Of the 17 intersections with red light cameras, 112 intersection accidents occurred. When compared to the year prior, there were no red light cameras and 157 accidents in the same locations. Overall, the number of collisions in these locations has decreased nearly 29 percent.
Tampa officials are pleased knowing accidents were cut nearly a third a year after cameras were installed. Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, “I think we have changed behaviors and I think it was the right decision and I think the data proves it.”
Although Tampa’s experience is opposite of what St. Petersburg saw—an increase of 10% in accidents in intersections with cameras—Tampa’s findings are consistent with Hillsborough County. In fact, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that crashes occurred less at red light intersections in 41 of 73 Florida communities that participated in the survey. The data revealed that 11 jurisdictions saw an increase in crashes and the rest of the communities that participated in the survey did not see a change.
Because of these findings and the reduction in Tampa auto accidents, the mayor indicated that the number of red light cameras in the city will likely increase. Tampa currently has 34 cameras monitoring 17 intersections. Some of the intersections with the highest number of crashes include:
- Hillsborough Avenue at 22nd Street
- Adamo Drive at 50th Street
- Waters Avenue at Florida Avenue
- Dale Mabry Highway at Kennedy Boulevard