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Committee votes on bill repealing local use of red light cameras


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Some automated traffic cameras could soon be getting the red light.

The Florida House Economic Affairs Committee voted 10-8 to pass House Bill 4011. If passed, HB 4011 stands to repeal a previous law allowing cities to use stoplight cameras.

Those in favor of the bill say lags between offenses and citation are one reason the stoplight cameras have got to go.

“I don’t believe that necessarily will change behavior, I believe you should have a right to face your accuser and this is a reason that I will vote for this bill,” said Rep. Doug Broxson (R-District 3) of Gulf Breeze.

Bill sponsor and Rep. Daphne Campbell (D-District 108) also says she’s trying to stop local governments from targeting low income families.

“If you’re getting $200 a week, you get a ticket of $158, there’s too long a time to send it to you, and when you receive. Now it doubles, triples, quadruples. They’re not working for a lot of money and they’re getting a big, big ticket. It’s not for safety it’s only for revenue,” she said.

According to Florida Public Radio if the cameras are not longer used, the state stands to lose millions of dollars. Last year the state received $51 million from the red light ticket fines.

Law enforcement officials are against the bill. Haines City Police Chief Rick Sloan says the cameras, designed to catch and ticket red light runners, ensure public safety.

“I think it’s obvious that it does change people’s driving behaviors and I think it’s obvious that it also helps to save lives and prevent people from having serious injures,” Sloan said.

Now that the bill has been greenlighted once, the next stop is the House Appropriations Committee. If it succeeds there, it moves on to the House floor.

Sarah Brand edited this story online.  

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