Hillsborough County attorneys are expected to begin amending the county’s ordinance governing red light cameras in an effort to get in line with a new state law that went into a effect last month.
House Bill 325, also known as the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, set statewide uniform standards for the use of red light cameras by counties and cities. Dozens of local governments across the state began using the cameras to catch red light runners by issuing civil infractions of $125 under county and city ordinances.
But use of the cameras came under legal fire since the state — which is the legal authority over traffic violations — had no stance on using the cameras to capture drivers running red lights and fining them for a moving violation.
With the passage of the state law allowing the cameras, local governments were left to amend their programs to adhere to the new legislation, and notify the public that fines would be increased to $158. Local governments also had to come up with plans to turn over half of the revenue generated from fines to the state.
And the red light cameras are certainly a cash boon. Hillsborough County attorneys estimate that cameras at six traffic lights will generate $490,000 for the rest of this fiscal year, and $1.96 million next year.