FL Senate Approves Red-Light Cameras

Big brother will indeed be watching…the intent behind this bill is that the cameras will serve as a deterrent and save lives. 

Let’s hope that the technology involved can ensure accuracy in the results generated.  It could be an expensive mistake, if there’s a malfunction. 

How exactly do you argue with a camera?


By Brent Kallastad
The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE
– After several years of trying, Florida lawmakers agreed Tuesday on a bill that would authorize the use of automatic cameras to ticket drivers who run red lights.

The Florida Senate sent a bill to Gov. Charlie Crist on a 30-7 vote that would authorize use of the cameras to ticket violators. Some dissenting lawmakers believe that use of the cameras violates privacy rights.

“The main reason for this bill is to make our roads safer,” said Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera. “It’s going to make a difference in a very positive way to the people of Florida.”

Similar attempts have been rejected in the past five years.

“It’s been no easy task,” added a relieved Altman, who guided the measure through the Senate. “Our next job is to get the information the governor needs so he can make a good decision.”

The bill (HB 325) passed Friday in the House and must now get Crist’s signature before becoming law.

“The governor has generally supported the use of red-light cameras in the past,” said Sterling Ivey, the governor’s press secretary said. “It is an issue that he has looked upon favorably in the past.”

A driver ignoring a red light who is caught on camera will be fined $158, but will not have points added to his or her driving record. Insurance companies will not be allowed to increase premiums for violations.

Motorists who ignored traffic signals in Florida were blamed for 76 deaths and injuries to 5,607 people in 2008, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

State economists estimate the state will receive more than $29 million in the first year and nearly $95 million in the 2013-14 budget year. Local governments are expected to receive $10 million in the first year and nearly $66 million in 2013-14.

Local governments would get $75 of the $158 fine and the state the remainder. Ten dollars of the state’s share would go to health care and $3 to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis for brain and spinal cord research.

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Tom Tillison

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