Will Times-Union now recant its pro red-light camera stance?


Republican State Sen. Jeff Brandes recently sent a letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement asking for an investigation into RedFlex Traffic Systems. Apparently, there’s  an issue with fraud?

“The admission of bribery by (former RedFlex CEO) Karen Finley illustrates the extent to which these providers will go in order to profit off the backs of hardworking Americans,” Brandes said in a news release. “State law enforcement should take a look into all contracts that exist in Florida with RedFlex to determine if this type of corruption occurred in our state, and to bring those to justice who violated public trust.”

Finley (no, not that Karen Finleyapparently spent $2 million on bribes to Chicago politicians. Apparently, there was a $124 million contract at stake, which at least shows she is attuned to the return on investment.

That’s more than I can say for my friends at the local paper of record.

Just a few months back, The Florida Times-Union mounted an unbylined (yet energetic!) defense of red-light cameras. Some quotes … which will prove, inexorably, to be more judicious than the red-light cameras themselves.

“If you drive for long in Jacksonville, you know the informal rule. As the light is about to change to red, you gun the accelerator, tailgate the car in front of you and race through the intersection. Meanwhile, the drivers waiting for green pause as cars run the red light. That is why Jacksonville has needed red-light cameras.”

And “red-light cameras are helping to improve local traffic safety. And it confirms that ongoing efforts by some Florida lawmakers and citizen groups to eliminate traffic cameras remain unwise and misguided.”

“Sure, there are reasons to suspect that some communities see cameras as revenue generators.”

As I mentioned in April, the company in play in Jacksonville, Redflex, relies on aggressive lobbying (very aggressive, obviously) and does best, besides in the U.S., in China, where public discourse is necessarily limited.

“But for any city with a reckless driving culture — like Jacksonville — the picture is clear,” the T-U editorial board said, adding that “Red-light cameras are a godsend.”

Clearly, we pray to different gods.

Programming note: bright and early on Monday morning, I will appear on Melissa Ross’ radio show, First Coast Connect, to discuss the latest developments in a scandal some of us saw years ago (and others ignore even as the evidence is right there in their faces).

I’d invite the T-U editorial writer who penned that gem in April to join us, except that editorial came without a byline.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • George

    July 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    A.G. Gancarski, While I agree with your position on red light cameras I encourage you (and your readers) to GET THE FACTS that tell the real story of FRAUD BEHIND THE CAMERAS.
    Go to CivilLiberty101.com.
    Hint: Why do red light cameras issue tickets?
    (Because people run the red?) WRONG!
    Because they GUESS WRONG AT THE YELLOW!!!!
    Fix that and we eliminate 90% of the problem of why INNOCENT drivers run red lights.
    Then we can focus on the 10% criminal element.

    • George

      July 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      CivilLiberty101.com describes a simple system of paint and signs that GIVE DRIVERS TOOLS TO MAKE SAFER DECISIONS AT THE ONSET OF THE YELLOW LIGHT!

      Guessing at the yellow is NOT a fair method to obey the law.

      We don’t guess at the speed limit or how wide our lanes are because the Gov’t is required to install AIDS TO NAVIGATION that help drivers make precise decisions.

      Please help us make the changes that are necessary. Go to our website today

      • George

        July 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        The government KNOWS that guessing is a DEADLY FLAW IN OUR TRAFFIC SAFETY PLAN.

        YET they purposely perpetuate that flaw to maximize profits.

Comments are closed.


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