A bill filed at the capitol would ban unmanned traffic cameras that ticket drivers who run red lights in Florida.
In 2010, the Legislature created a law allowing for statewide use of the red light cameras, which are often placed at busy intersections. At the time, the cameras were sold as safety devices, but the Senate sponsor of the repeal bill says they are really nothing more than a money-maker for the state and local governments.
Republican Jeff Brandes says some cities have shortened the length of yellow lights and turned intersections into “no-right-on-red” turns that hadn’t been there in the past.
“A vast majority of the tickets being issued now are technical violations, where someone will run the red by .01 or .02 seconds or they’ll make a right turn on red where, in some cases, someone may argue isn’t careful and prudent. But, it’s the kind of turn you and I make every day.”
In 2011, a repeal bill narrowly passed the Florida House, but was never taken up by the Senate. Brandes says rather than using the unmanned cameras, public safety could be improved by having more police enforcement at intersections and by extending yellow light times.
Florida drivers paid more than one hundred million dollars in red-light camera fines last year.