Red light cameras, the debate continues!

Florida had passed a bill two years ago that allowed the use of red light cameras on the streets of cities across the State.  While the law had passed, the debate over their effectiveness has not. There is a new bill in the State Legislature that would make stop light cameras illegal.  On 2/14/2013 a house committee approved a bill banning the stop light cameras by a close vote of 10-8.  At this time there is not a bill in the state Senate to ban the use of red light cameras.

The bill is being sponsored by Daphne Campbell a representative from Miami. Although, upon research into Mrs. Campbell some issues with her credibility are dredged up.  However, she also has the support of Carlos Trujillo also of Miami. He on the other hand has no credibility issues regarding this law.

Campbell and the supporters of this bill remain adamant that the only purpose of the stop light cameras sole purpose is to make money off of the general public.  Each stop light ticket is for $158. The state will take $83 dollars, the remainder is split between the city and the camera vendor.

According to Florida’s Department of Revenue, cities and counties collected approximately $46 million and the sate collected $51 million last year form the use of stop light cameras. Miami collected the most from stop light tickets, Miami collected upwards of $9 million in citation fees.

The jury is still out if stop light cameras actually make intersections safer.  From data collected last year from 73 Florida law enforcement agencies, around half of those agencies reported that accidents at intersections using a red light camera were less frequent.  However 11 of the agencies reported more frequent accidents while the rest did not report any change. Miami did lead the charge in the number of citations given, the same report noted that there was a decline in the number of accidents.  Although, St. Petersburg, recorded rear-end accidents at red light intersections spiked  44% between November 2011 and October 2012.