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Monday, January 25, 2016

Florida might say goodbye to red light cameras

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 6:33 AM

  • Photo by Dave Dugdale via Flickr

A Florida without red light cameras may be a reality closer down the road than expected.

The House Economic Affairs Committee has passed HB 4027: Traffic Infraction Detectors, which restricts local governments from using red light cameras. Before the bill goes to the full House, it needs to get passed by the House Appropriations Committee — however, if passed, HB 4027 will repeal the 2010 law that allows for the use of the cameras.

The bill was filed by Rep. Frank Artiles, who has opposed red light cameras for some time because he believes they do not improve safety and are simply used to gain revenue.

Casey Cook, a Florida League of Cities lobbyist, says these governments need to make their own solutions to local problems.

Florida’s Red Light Camera Report from 2014-2015 showed an increase in crashes at 276 camera-monitored intersections. While this may be an increase in statewide crash reporting in general, intersections with cameras put into place between January 2012 and September 2014 show an increase in fatal crashes, incapacitating injuries and crashes involving non-motorists post-installation.

In November last year, the Orlando City Council voted to increase the 14 intersections with red light cameras almost twofold, from 22 monitored approaches to more than 30. Early in 2015, a bill passed at the House and Waterway Safety Committee prohibiting tickets to be issued when drivers turn on red and specifying that revenue go to public safety rather than a general fund. Broward Appeals Court changed how violations were issued in October 2014.

Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Brandes, R – St. Petersburg, submitted a similar Senate bill, but it has not been heard yet.

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