The proposed law, by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, would shift the burden of proof of a red-light violation to the government imposing the fine, it would eliminate citations for right-turns on red, and it would require a live, government representative at hearings to prove that a violation took place.
A bi-partisan proposal would repeal the three-year-old Florida law allowing cities to install spy-and-snap cameras. The repeal, if enacted, would again crimp the revenue of local governments such as Palm Coast, which use the cameras’ ticker revenue to supplement their general fund.
A South Florida lawmaker filed legislation Friday to repeal the law allowing the use of red light cameras, following a report earlier this week that says intersections where they’re used have seen drops in crashes in most places.
Florida’s new law legalizing red-light cameras ensures that state coffers are on the take. But it does not address the fundamental problems with spy-and-snap cameras. There are innumerable reasons to ban them. There’s only one reason to keep them, and it’s a slimy one: money.
Flagler County runs the lights’ infrastructure, and must give its permission to Palm Coast to plug in its spy-camera system. The county, which opposes cameras on SR100, won’t grant permission.
Rather than address questions raised by County Commission Chairman Barbara Revels, the Palm Coast Council invented a claim that the county wanted to enable law-breaking, unsafe drivers, and dismissed Revels’s request to reconsider installing spy cameras on State Road 100.
The Palm Coast City Council’s agreement to increase the city’s traffic spy cameras to up to 52 is backed by no crash data and no scientific evidence that the 10 existing cameras improve safety, but Palm Coast stands to make up to $437,000 a year from the new scheme.
American Traffic Solutions, which runs Palm Coast’s red-light traffic cameras, will make up to $4,250 per camera per month, while Palm Coast makes just $700. Still, the Palm Coast City Council is ready to sign a seven-year deal.