Florida Legislature has put the brakes on any effort by cities and counties in
the state to install cameras at intersections to bust red light runners.
introduced by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, and Sen. Steve Wise,
R-Jacksonville, sought to allow cameras on traffic signals that could
photograph vehicles running red lights. The effort never made it out of
committee during the session that ended May 6.
effort faced an uphill battle from the get-go. Early in the session, House
Speaker Allan Bense called using cameras to snap pictures of vehicle license
plates an intrusion by government.
told The Bradenton Herald he understood his legislation was highly
unlikely to pass, but his goal was to start the dialogue so that it may pass
during future sessions. He said the bill was about safety and using technology
in a helpful way.
measure would only have allowed cameras to photograph vehicles and their tag
numbers. The registered owner of a vehicle photographed running a red light
would have been mailed a ticket and ordered to pay a $65 fine. No points would
have been added to the vehicle owner’s license.
citing county or city would have received $5 of the fine and the rest would
have gone to fund state trauma services.
The National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration endorses the cameras, which are in communities in 20
states and the District of Columbia, with still other states pursuing similar
opponents are concerned the cameras would be the beginning of a trip down a
slippery slope on which police could use the cameras to photograph drivers and
monitor the movements of citizens.
effort to ease those concerns, Reagan included a provision in the bill that
counties or cities cannot use the cameras to record “images of general traffic
conditions or activities occurring within the intersection or surrounding
said the safety benefits of deterrence from running red lights would far
outweigh privacy concerns, which he told the newspaper are unfounded.
Reagan’s bill was HB1439. Wise’s
bill was S2252.