The Florida House voted Thursday to ban the use of red light cameras to enforce traffic laws in the state.
The vote on final passage went 91-22.
Supporters argued the cameras don’t save lives and have become money-makers for vendors, some of them located out of state.
“It has become less about public safety and more about revenue,” said Bryan Avila, the Hialeah Republican who presented the bill.
The state is sending $35 million to out-of-state vendors, he said. Yet the cameras are not stopping repeat traffic offenders — there were more than 150,000 of those recorded in the state, he said.
Infractions linked to the cameras have generated about $18.8 million for the state thus far this budget year, according to a legislative analysis.
Al Jacquet, a Democrat from Lantana, argued that the cameras violate the 6th Amendment right to confront witnesses.
“With the red light camera program, they have no opportunity to confront that camera, because a camera is not a law enforcement officer,” Jacquet said.
“It is a revenue program, not a safety program,” he said.
The cameras had their defenders. Larry Ahern noted a more than 50 percent decrease in accidents at intersections.
“It does change drivers’ behavior. I think red light cameras are saving the lives of Floridians.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story misattributed Bryan Avila‘s quote.