The House late Friday took up a measure (HB 4087) to repeal the bill passed just last year that allows local communities to put up red light cameras and sets out a statewide standard for their use, reports the News Service of Florida. Cities and counties oppose the repeal ?they say the cameras make their intersections safer and they want the money from the $158 fines allowed for people caught on camera blowing through lights. Several members of the Legislature ?many of whom voted for the bill last year ?also believe in the cameras, and say they save lives. But bill sponsor Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, said the evidence is the opposite, that after adding cameras all the places he looked at, mostly in other states and Canada, saw more accidents. Backers of the camera dispute that. Also, the state will have to reimburse local governments for the loss of the revenue they budgeted based on the cameras that now wouldn’t be realized if the cameras aren’t used to ticket drivers. The measure is ready for a full House vote as early as Monday.
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.