Red Light camera fines

Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 07:22 PM CST
Red Light camera fines  story image
A bill in the Florida House would cut the fine by removing the portion that usually goes to local government.
   
Cities would be able to impose a surcharge to fund existing cameras but it would have to be discussed at a public hearing and approved by a majority vote.

Is it a nuisance, an invasion of our privacy?
Or are these red-light cameras a life-saving program helping to reduce the number of fatal intersection accidents?.
It costs 158-dollars if that eye in the sky catches you but what would the cost be both for the cities and counties that run these programs and for our safety if these red-light cameras are repealed?

We know this, several state legislators don't like red-light cameras...
Senate President Don Gaetz supports repealing Florida's red-light camera law and voted against it first time around.

Sen. Don Gaetz/(R) Senate president    I think there are a couple of proposals that would maintain red-light cameras to save lives, but eliminate red-light cameras as a way to either enrich government or to enrich some out of state vendors."

The cost of the red-light camera citation is 158-dollars.   83 of which go to the state    75 stay local  

Red-light camera revenue increased statewide from $37 million in 2010-11 to $119 million in 2012-2013.

Some are convinced the cameras are not about improving safety but providing and additional source of revenue for counties and cities.

Chief Greg Brand/Milton Police Department
"The red-light camera enforcement in the city of Milton has been about safety from the very beginning. Actually Milton hasn't made anything on them. Now the state though does get their 83-dollars on every single citation."

Buz Eddy/Gulf Breeze City Manager
"We basically pay our costs. We generate a little bit of extra money over the cost to pay for things like police overtime and other special activities which we think reduce accidents."

Opponents are pointing to a new study which legislators say shows the cameras have not reduced accidents...

The Florida League of Cities is questioning the fairness of the study.
Gulf Breeze was the first city in the state to get the red-light cameras.   They say accidents are down by almost 100 per year at three red-light camera intersections...

Milton is also seeing a reduction at their three camera locations.

Chief Greg Brand/Milton Police Department
"We had 51 accidents at red-light camera intersections in 2012. In 2013 we had 28. So is that a reduction? Yeah, I think it's a reduction."

Drivers seem to hate the cameras but if an officer writes you a citation for running a red-light.   It runs 263-dollars and four points go on your license.   The red-light camera citation does not place points.

Nancy Wood/Santa Rosa Co. Resident "I didn't know that, no. So it would be better to be caught by the camera."

"I wasn't aware that the city didn't make any money, that it all goes to the state. That's a little disappointing, since we are local and we would like our dollars to stay here."

Chief Greg Brand/Milton Police Department
"It's not just about reducing accidents. I think it's about reducing the frequency of red-light running. Because every time somebody runs a red light, that's a potential, fatal accident... Every single time."

Red Light camera fines
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