FREE CASE REVIEW
Efforts in the legislature to rid Florida of red-light cameras at dangerous intersections may have failed this spring, but the debate lives on.
Despite a state report showing auto accidents increased 12 percent at 230 state-road intersections with the monitoring devices, lawmakers refused to outlaw them, leaving grass-roots activists to fight another day, according to a recent Orlando Sentinel article.
And fight they are. Those opposed to the cameras have obtained enough signatures in Brooksville, for instance, to force a referendum this fall on the repeal of red-light cameras.
Those in opposition to red-light cameras mainly contend that the devices are designed to raise money for local governments and do not make roadways safer.
Glen Chancy, executive director of Ban the Cams PAC, made these arguments against red-light cameras in a Sun Sentinel column:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), however, asserts that cameras reduce red-light running – mainly the most dangerous violations that can lead to catastrophic crashes.
According to the IIHS, a year after red-light cameras were erected on Arlington, Virginia:
The nation has 540 communities with red-light camera enforcement. A 2011 IIHS study of large cities found that the cameras cut fatalities linked to red-light running by 24 percent and fatal wrecks at signalized intersections by 17 percent.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) notes that 2.3 million intersection crashes were reported in one recent year, causing some 7,770 deaths and 733,000 injuries. Determining whether red-light running was a factor was difficult to discern because that might not have been a part of the crash report.
The GHSA encourages states to deal with red-light running and speeding with automated enforcement. It tempers the endorsement, though, stating:
When Florida’s legislature convenes against next winter, the debate over red-light cameras and their ability to reduce dangerous crashes is likely to resume. When it does, pertinent information, not emotion, should be used to determine the outcome.