Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Longer Yellows, Lower Revenues

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Longer Yellows, Lower Revenues

Article excerpt

Changes in Tallahassee make red-light cameras less lucrative for Sarasota

SARASOTA

Recent decisions in Tallahassee have caused a steep decline in revenue from red-light cameras in Sarasota, contributing to the city's budget headaches this year.

It is normal for red-light cameras to issue fewer tickets over time as drivers become more aware of them, according to the Sarasota Police Department. But that decline was speeded by new rules from state transportation officials and legislators.

The decline in tickets and resulting revenue is expected to continue next year, and the city is collecting about $1.5 million less from the cameras than budget projections had accounted for, according to city officials. Money to fill the gap in the budget will be sought elsewhere, possibly by reducing payments to a city employee benefits fund.

Sarasota Police Officer John Lake, one of the police officials who oversees the city's 20 red-light cameras, said the city would expect increased driver awareness to cause about a 30 percent decline in the camera's production over three years, based on national averages. …

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