Red Light Cameras Might Get Shut Off in Florida
We’re a stop closer to not having red light cameras in the Sunshine State. Recently, a Florida House committee approved HB 4027, a bill that would ban local governments from using red light cameras to cite drivers for not properly stopping at intersections. HB 4027 looks to repeal a 2010 law that authorized statewide use of the red lights cameras.
Critics have argued for years that the cameras don’t improve traffic safety, and that local governments rely on money from tickets generated by red light citations. In 2015, Florida red lights cameras led to nearly 250,000 tickets being written statewide for right hand turns on a red light. These citations were worth $40 million to the state. This is despite a state vehicular law that prohibits tickets being written for turns like these made “in a careful and prudent manner.”
Florida’s Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a report that showed increased crashes at nearly 300 intersections monitored by red light cameras. The report looked at crash information from January 2012 to September 2014. Intersections with red light cameras had accidents, fatal crashes, and accidents involving bikes and pedestrians rising over that time. The DOT found accidents went up 15 percent after the cameras were installed.
Here in Jacksonville, crashes at intersections monitored by red light cameras are also up. Rear end collisions increased almost 10 percent and side-impact crashes were up 35 percent. According to the DOT, Jacksonville issued well over 30,000 notices of violation to red light runners caught on camera from July 2014 to July 2015. Of those, more than 2,000 received multiple citations.
Communities all over Florida have announced that they’ve stopped issuing tickets from red light citations, or would do so by the end of 2016. Cities that are adopting HB 4027 early include Boca Raton, Daytona Beach, Hollywood, North Miami, St. Petersberg, Tallahasee, and West Palm Beach.
If you have any questions about Florida motor vehicle laws, don’t hesitate to contact Farah & Farah. You can reach us at (800) 533-3555.