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red light cameras

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

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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…

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Joe Henderson: Time to get rid of red-light cameras, but turn up heat on texting

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Depending on your point of view, red-light cameras in Florida are either: A) Of great benefit to public safety by making drivers think twice when approaching a changing traffic light; or B) a cash grab by communities that amounts to a backdoor tax. Just we’re clear, I’m on the side of Option B. While several communities throughout the state have discontinued use of the cameras for reasons best explained by Option B, the Legislature has never mustered enough support for…

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House to take up red-light camera repeal

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The House on Wednesday is expected to take up a bill that would ban red-light cameras in the state. The bill (HB 6007), which has easily passed House committees and is slated for a Wednesday floor session, would repeal a law that allows cities and counties to install and use red-light cameras. The ban would take effect July 1, 2020. Some House Republican leaders have long been critical of red-light cameras, which they argue have become a revenue source for…

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Red-light camera ban clears green-lighted by House committee

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A House bill to ban red-light cameras cleared its final committee Tuesday and is ready for a floor vote when the 2017 Legislative Session kicks off next month. The House Government Accountability Committee approved HB 6007 with a 13-3 vote; the only no votes came from Democratic Reps. Joe Abruzzo, Carlos Guillermo Smith and Clovis Watson. Last month, the bill had made it through the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the House Appropriations Committee with similarly lopsided votes. The bill would…

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Bill to kill red-light cameras doesn’t get the votes in Senate

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Florida lawmakers are once again debating this year whether the state should stop using red light cameras — but the conversation may not be long. On a 2-2 tie, state Sen. Frank Artiles’ bill (SB 178), to repeal the use of such cameras statewide, died Tuesday in the Senate Transportation Committee. A House companion (HB 6007), however, cleared that chamber’s Appropriations committee on a 20-7 vote. Artiles, a Miami Republican, called the cameras a “backdoor tax” and a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” as…

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Tampa City Council approves red light cameras for two more years

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Red light cameras will continue to operate in the City of Tampa for at least two more years, after the city council voted 4-3 Thursday to approve a contract with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions. The new contract guarantees the city $75,000 more per year annually than the current contract, as well as giving the city more help when disgruntled motorists challenge their $158 tickets in court. Council members Mike Suarez, Harry Cohen, Lisa Montelione and Charlie Miranda voted for the cameras. Guido Maniscalco, Yolie Capin, and Frank Reddick voted no.…

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Senate panel passes red light camera preemption 4-3

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A key Senate panel narrowly passed a proposal to effectively end the use of red light cameras around the state of Florida on Thursday. The Senate Transportation Committee passed the bill by a 4-3 party-line vote. Bill sponsor St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes, who also chairs the panel, said the bill simply reflects the public policy reality that infraction detectors are not making intersections safer. “The Department of Highway Safety will not testify that there is a safety benefit,” said Brandes. “Red light…

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