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Senate Transportation Committee

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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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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Jeff Brandes cracking down on specialty auto tags

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The chairman of the Florida Senate’s Transportation committee has filed legislation aimed at reining in the burgeoning number of specialty license plates. State Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, filed the bill (SB 1390) on Wednesday. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety now lists 124 approved and available specialty plates. Now, groups in Florida that propose a new specialty plate must “pre-sell” 1,000 of them in a two-year period before they will be manufactured. Brandes’ measure would increase that number…

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Jeff Brandes on the future of driving: ‘Jack, take the wheel’

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Standing in front of the Tallahassee Automobile Museum on a rainy Tuesday morning, Sen. Jeff Brandes was talking about a coming technology that will revolutionize travel as much as the Model-T Fords on display inside the building did in the early 20th century. In the background was an Audi A7 “piloted driving” concept car named Jack, ready to take him and other legislators on a “look-Ma, no hands!” spin down nearby Interstate 10. Brandes was ahead of the curve in 2012 when he introduced…

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Senate bill seeks to prevent release of DMV email addresses

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A Senate bill filed Monday seeks to protect the privacy of Florida motorists by blocking the release of email addresses accumulated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Filed by the Senate Transportation Committee, SPB 7040 would create public-record law exemptions for email addresses received by the department while collecting vehicle records and driver license data. The bill is in response to the sharp rise in the number of email addresses collected since 1994, which has raised concerns…

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Jack Latvala to pursue human trafficking legislation with House Dem Dave Kerner

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Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala announced yesterday that he will seek passage of SB 534 a bill to increase reporting of human trafficking by expanding the public’s awareness of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. The proposal would mandate that the number be posted in all Florida transportation hubs and establishments near major roads, where employees and patrons are most likely encounter victims and perpetrators of trafficking. “Human trafficking is a sick, but profitable criminal enterprise that affects up to 300,000 children and…

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