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A bill that would ban the use of red light cameras is moving forward in the Florida Legislature. The House Economic Affairs Committee on Feb. 14 narrowly approved HB 4011, a bill that would strip cities of their right to monitor and assess tickets at red lights using cameras.
The bill passed 10-8. Its next stop is the Appropriations Committee. If passed, the bill will move to the floor.
State Rep. Travis Hutson said he will remain open to hearing arguments on both sides of the red light camera debate if he gets a chance to vote on the bill.
But, he said in an email, “I am fundamentally opposed to red light cameras because I believe (they put) an unnecessary nuisance and burden on drivers at the expense of trying to make a few dollars, while not providing a verifiably higher level of safety.”
Currently, there are 43 red light cameras issuing citations in Palm Coast. Critics of the cameras say they increase the likelihood of rear-end collisions because they make drivers overly reluctant to run yellow lights or that the cameras are simply a money-making mechanism for the city. Supporters of the cameras say they make the city a safer place for drivers.
The continued debate hinges, perhaps, on conflicting data. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that fatal red light-related collisions declined an average of 24% in 2011 in cities with red light cameras.
A Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles study released last month found that of the 73 cities in Florida that use red light cameras, 56 saw a reduction in the number of accidents.
In contrast, however, the Virginia Transportation Research Council released a study in June 2007 that found that rear-end collisions at intersections with red light cameras in Virginia increased 27% overall. A 2004 study reported similar results. This study was completed by the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Urban Transit Institute for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
To further complicate the topic, researchers at the University of South Florida in January 2012 criticized a pro-camera analysis by the IIHS as “logically flawed” and in violation of the scientific method.
State Legislature passed guidelines for citations two years ago, but the topic remains highly debated.
“The senate put language into a bill that was accepted by the house through messaging,” Hutson said. “In other words, there was never a real red light camera bill workshopped through committees. After approval, I believe people believed there was a problem and some companies were taking advantage of the law.”
A bill was filed last year to repeal red light cameras, but it didn’t move forward in the Legislature. The current bill was filed in January by Rep. Daphne Campbell, a Democrat from Miami.
Currently 3 Responses
- 1) The article is correct, the Univ. of South Florida thoroughly debunked the IIHS study for improper research methods and conclusions. What the article doesn't mention is that the IIHS is NOT unbiased in this issue. In some states the member insurance companies can issue heavy premium surcharges to policyholders that get camera tickets. This is not true in Florida but it IS true in some states. The IIHS member insurance companies are in the revenue stream from red light cameras and their "research" is not financially unbiased.
2) In almost every case simply adding one second to the yellow intervals would reduce violations by more than ticket cameras. WHY won't cities do this simple safety step? The answer is $158 a pop for every safe driver who inadvertently trips the red by a few tenths of a second because the city maliciously refused to set safer yellows.
3) The state WANTS more camera tickets, they get the first $83 of each $158 ticket without paying any of the high camera costs.
If you have had enough of the money-grab scam of red light cameras, call your state Representatives and Senators to insist they support Rep. Campbell's bill #4011 to ban the cameras statewide.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association (recent FL visitor)
- The IIHS report has BEEN DEBUNKED BY USF PEER REVIEW!
Quote: The critique noted the most troubling issue was the dissimilarity between the cities chosen to represent camera enforcement and the camera-free cities. Almost a quarter of the camera-free cities had between zero and two red light running fatalities in the "before" period. It is impossible for a city with zero fatalities "before" to improve in the "after" period. By contrast, nearly all the camera cities had 7 or more fatalities, leaving far more room for improvement.
"The fact that the two groups have a large difference in fatality rates in the 'before' period reflects bias in the selection of the comparison group, which jeopardizes the validity of the findings," the USF researchers noted.
The USF researchers then used the IIHS data in an attempt to replicate the IIHS statistical analysis. The critique concluded that IIHS failed to disclose results that contained negative values for red light cameras.
"Thus, cities using cameras are estimated to have a 25 percent higher red light running fatality rate in the 'after' period relative to cities not using cameras, despite the greater reported percent reduction in the former," the critique found.
AS for that FL "survey", realize it is dependent on the HONESTY of the those RLC towns.
"Honesty" lacking in St. Petersburg, FL! http://www.banthecams.org/Red-Light-Camera-News/st-pete-rlc-report-qslanted-and-misleadingq-crash-data-that-showed-increase-crashes-missing.html or http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/missing-from-st-petersburg-council-report-on-red-light-cameras-crashes/1265851.
THE CITY STAFF HID FROM COUNCILTHEY HAD MORE WRECKS!
(read more on the "survey" here: http://www.banthecams.org/3765-reasons-fl-rlc-report-survey-is-flawed.html).
ALSO REALIZE THAT on the last committee that voted to Ban RLC, ever rep that vote against the ban, TOOK A RLC VENDOR MONEY, ATS! http://www.banthecams.org/Red-Light-Camera-News/who-is-taking-money-from-ats-in-tallahassee-about-everyone-who-voted-to-keep-rlc.html
Quote: Who is taking money from ATS in Tallahassee???? About everyone almost who voted to keep RLC!
One intersting factoid that has come out in the last vote on Banning RLC was how many reps who voted against the RLC BAN, are taking money from ATS.
Quote: "This means 2 of 3 Republicans and all of the Democrats that took ATS money from 2011-2012 voted against the ban bill.
Heck the next committee (Appropriations) has 14 members on the Donation TAKE!
Quote: In total, 14 of the 26 members of the Appropriations Committee have received contributions from American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the primary red"
camerafraud on Facebook
- Are people really that stupid that they want to get rid of red light cameras?I drice a motorcyle and I dont know how many times I have been cut off by someone running a redlight.The only reason for rear end crashes at a red light is because the ignorant person who was second in line figures the first driver isnt going to stop.Well duh,Its a redlight>>Stop people and if you dont I dont care that you are getting a ticket from a camera..you deserve it,so I hope we get more red light cameras and those who dont stop get their just deserved fine
20 Starlight Half Marathon/5K
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20 Annual Christmas Celebration of the Grenadian Association of Palm Coast
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OUR TOWN: FPC Alumni Weekend set for Aug. 29
Also, FPRA Volusia/Flagler Chapter launches book drive for children; and Florida Ag. Museum receives bequest from former Ag. Commissioner.