Legislative Debate Over Florida Red Light Cameras Resumes

Paul A. Meissner, Senior Managing Partner of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A.

Much of the controversy over the use of these red light cameras is related to the way evidence of speeding or running a red light is verified and how the violation is served.

When the Florida Legislature convenes on March 7, 2017, the debate over red light cameras will resume. This time, discussions will include a recent report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that indicates crashes increase at intersections where red light cameras are installed.

According to the report, after the installation of red light cameras, crashes rose 10 percent at 148 intersections in 28 Florida cities and counties during the July 2012-April 2016 period, and rear-end crashes increased more than 11 percent. Accidents involving pedestrians and other non-motorists fell almost 20 percent, and crashes involving running a red light were down about 3 percent.

Florida’s Legislature has considered bills to ban red light cameras over the past few years. Each of those bills has failed. This upcoming legislative session will consider two bills—SB 178 and HB 6007 — that call for the repeal of red light cameras in Florida by 2020.

“The introduction of photographic automated enforcement systems – red light cameras – has added a new twist to defending against traffic tickets,” said defense attorney Paul A. Meissner Jr. of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. “Much of the controversy over the use of these red light cameras is related to the way evidence of speeding or running a red light is verified and how the violation is served.”

Red light cameras work by triggering the camera to take a photograph as a vehicle passes…

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