If a bill before the governor in Florida becomes law, red
will mean more than stop – it will mean a much bigger fine if you fail to do
Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to sign HB 497 into law, which
will more than double the fine for running a red stop light in Florida to $125,
up from $60, the Orlando Sentinel reported. If signed, the law will take
effect on Oct. 1.
The bill gained support in the legislature after 22-year-old
Ashley Elizabeth Townsend ran her SUV through a red light and hit and killed
5-year-old Anjelica Velez and her 2-year-old sister, Victoria Velez, in October
2004 in Orange County.
Supporters of the bill, including the girls’ father, Ivan
Velez, hope the increase will help curb dangerous light-runners.
“It’s a beginning; it’s a start,” Velez told the Sentinel. “You’re going to go through a red light now, you’re going to pay more.”
Opponents, however, said the higher fines aren’t enough to
get distracted drivers’ eyes back on the road.