House votes to bar use of red light cameras to monitor intersections


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.

HB 6007 repeals state authorization for red light cameras and bans their use by local governments. Similar legislation is pending in the Senate.

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.

Michael Moline

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.


  • Ruben Sebastian

    March 23, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    The Red Light Camera program is a money making SCAM! From the moment you shorten the time for the Yellow Light. Its a Fishing Ploy to temp you into thinking the Red Light is still a few more seconds. And BAM!! They got another SUCKER! Why wont they SINCRONIZE THE LIGHTS so that traffic will move quicker?? NOPE…no money in that!

  • James C. Walker

    March 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Florida residents need to call and write their state Representatives, Senators, and the Governor to politely but clearly insist that a bill to totally ban red light cameras becomes law. Let each official know you find the cameras to be unacceptable and that complete removal is the only acceptable solution. Contact information:

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  • Paul

    March 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

    So the guy running the red light is drunk, just murdered 3 people, has a pound of cocaine in his car…he’d be happy to pay the $168 to keep driving.

Comments are closed.


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