Will Weatherford signals opposition to red-light cameras, will back repeal

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Making it clear he wants changes in Florida’s red-light camera laws, House Speaker Will Weatherford on Wednesday pointed to a “scathing” new account on the effectiveness of the controversial program.

Two days after the release of a report by the Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability, Weatherford told reporters he would support a RLC repeal bill, but acknowledged that it is probably not going happen.

In a press conference announcing the review, Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Frank Artiles, two leading opponents of RLCs, said the study proves cameras haven’t reduced accidents and local governments are just using them to pad budgets. The Florida League of Cities doubted the study’s impartiality.

The study suggests changes in Florida’s RLC law, including requiring municipalities to determine safety needs at intersections with the cameras, calling for communities to develop standard lengths for yellow lights, and restricting revenues to traffic-safety and related public uses.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.