Repeal of Red Light Cameras Passes Senate Committee

By  //  February 5, 2016

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support of repealing red light cameras is 'clear'

On Feb. 4, SB 168, traffic infraction detectors, passed in the Senate Committee on Transportation. The bill proposes a repeal of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act and elimination of red light cameras in Florida. Calling them a backdoor tax increase, Senator Brandes said that it is time to end the addiction of state and local governments to the revenue raised by red light cameras. Shutterstock image)

On Feb. 4, SB 168, traffic infraction detectors, passed in the Senate Committee on Transportation. The bill proposes a repeal of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act and elimination of red light cameras in Florida. Calling them a backdoor tax increase, Senator Brandes said that it is time to end the addiction of state and local governments to the revenue raised by red light cameras. (Shutterstock image)

On Feb. 4, SB 168, traffic infraction detectors, passed in the Senate Committee on Transportation.

The bill proposes a repeal of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act and elimination of red light cameras in Florida. Calling them a backdoor tax increase, Senator Brandes said that it is time to end the addiction of state and local governments to the revenue raised by red light cameras.

This proposal follows multiple initiatives by Senator Brandes in previous years to advance safety reform measures in the legislature as an alternative to red light cameras.

Previous initiatives included requiring municipalities to adopt proven safety measures, such as yellow light extensions and better intersection signage, before they are able to consider the installation of a red light camera.

Further past reforms proposed would also withhold red light camera revenue from municipalities who do not comply with requirements to submit crash data to the state from their red light camera intersections.

Sen. Jeff Brandes

Sen. Jeff Brandes

“The evidence is clear in support of a repeal of red light cameras. Accidents are up at intersections with the cameras, and these programs have yet to demonstrate any added safety value whatsoever,” stated Senator Brandes.

“Local governments and the legislature are addicted to the revenue red light cameras generate. I’m proud to join my colleagues in the House of Representatives as we advance the repeal of this unnecessary and intrusive program.”

In 2014 a report by the Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability (OPPAGA), at the request of Senator Brandes and Representative Frank Artiles (R-Miami), found that 56 percent of jurisdictions in the study did not utilize recommended safety countermeasures, such as longer yellow lights, before the installation of red light cameras.

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The study found that 58 percent of jurisdictions in the study used yellow light times at the state minimum. This confirms media reports of yellow-light time manipulation and other tactics used at some red light camera intersections to increase the number of tickets issued in order to increase revenue.

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