There is another push in Tallahassee to remove red-light cameras from public streets across Florida. On Wednesday, the Senate’s Transportation Committee chairman, Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg, filed SB 144. This bill would ban the use of red-light cameras, which are currently in place in at least seventy-six jurisdictions throughout Florida. Brandes said, “This program was originally sold as being about safety. I have come to believe that it’s now about revenue.” Every citation brings in $158, with $83 going directly to the state. The remaining $75 is divided between the camera vendor and the municipality.
According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the cameras generated more than $62.5 million for the state between July 2012 and June 2013. American Traffic Solutions, a Tempe, Arizona company, is the company that is most involved in the Florida red-light camera business. It operates cameras in about seventy cities and counties, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and New Port Richey. The company has employed twenty-four lobbyists to work on its behalf in Tallahassee. The company is well-aware that ever since the red-light cameras were legalized in 2011, bills have been filed seeking their repeal.
An ATS spokesman, Charles Territo, countered the notion that the cameras are all about revenue by turning to company statistics. From the end of 2011 to the middle of 2013, company records show that the average number of citations per camera fell forty percent for cameras installed prior to 2011 and by over half for cameras installed between July 2011 and July 2012. Brandes said the bill he introduced would not erase existing contracts, but it would preclude the forming of new contracts or the renewal of existing contracts. Brandes believes something must be done “because the system is broken.”
Bill banning red-light cameras introduced in Tallahassee, www.miamiherald.com September 4, 2013
It is important that intersections with traffic lights be kept as safe as possible. Reducing intersection car accidents is an integral part of achieving safer roadways. Whether red-light cameras achieve this effect or not is still unclear. These accidents often lead to serious injuries or even death. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable and experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. The Coral Gables personal injury attorneys at Friedland Law Group offer over twenty years of experience helping victims of all kinds of car accidents receive compensation for their injuries. Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!
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