A New State-Wide Study Reports No Need for Red-Light Cameras

Two lawmakers who filed bills to repeal Florida’s red-light camera law say a recent state analysis- the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability study on red-light cameras- backs up their argument that there is a better way to improve safety at traffic intersections.

“We currently have the tools in our toolbox to stop the red-light infractions from occurring, we do not need the red-light cameras today in Florida,” said Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, during a news conference Monday to release the results of the state analysis.

The study, done at the request of Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, who is the Senate sponsor of the repeal legislation, shows these results:

“Total red-light camera revenue increased statewide from $37.6 million in 2010-2011 to $118.9 million in 2012-2013. Both Brandes and Artiles say they are convinced the cameras are not about improving safety but providing an additional revenue source for counties and cities.

Like other studies before it, OPPAGA concluded that ‘crashes resulting in fatalities decreased at red-light camera intersections on state roads but rear-end and angle crashes increased.’”

The repeal proposals, Senate Bill 144 and House Bill 4009, have yet to receive any committee hearings. Brandes said he was waiting for the state report before proceeding. “It is deeply disturbing to think that cities and counties in our state may be choosing camera revenue before implementing proven safety counter-measures,” he said Monday.

Discussion about red-light cameras comes as a former executive for a prominent red-light camera vendor is accusing the company of offering gifts and bribes to officials in Florida and 13 other states to gain contracts.

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