The Liberty First Network came out swinging at red light cameras in the Sunshine State last week.
Last week, Liberty First Network President Alex Snitker, who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, gave all 40 members of the state Senate his group’s report on red light cameras in Florida.
“After a decade of red light camera use in Florida, officials remain unable to find evidence that the devices have been effective in reducing traffic accidents,” the Liberty First Network noted. “Red light cameras were first authorized in Florida in 2010, with many localities using them that same year. We now have six years of crash data, and the lack of a safety benefit is undeniable. The fact is most red light violation crashes are caused by inattentive or impaired (DUI) drivers, and cameras have no effect upon them. We all want safer roads and intersections, and the Florida Legislature should take that task seriously. But, if the goal of red light cameras is to make roads safer, this report shows they have failed. It is simply wrong to continue to target mostly safe drivers for harmless, split-second violations. Traffic engineer solutions, such as yellow light and all red interval timing will dramatically reduce red light running. Making traffic lights more visible and improving signage have shown to reduce red light violations.”
The report found the following:
- Red light cameras are not reducing intersection accidents
- Red light cameras are not changing driver habits
- Data shows increased number of red light camera repeat offenders
- Red light cameras cause harm to the local economy
- Most red light camera violations are issued in less than one second after turning red of straight through violations or drivers making right-hand turns.
- Red light cameras routinely malfunction
- Ticketing via red light cameras results in the wrong person being ticketed or a ticket being issued where there was no violation, creating hardships on innocent drivers
In recent years, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, has led the charge to repeal Florida’s red light camera law.