St. Pete lawmaker wants to ban red light cameras - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Pete lawmaker wants to ban red light cameras

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When the red light flashes at an intersection, drivers knows a ticket could be in the mail.

Red light cameras now line intersections all over the Bay Area.

Senator Jeff Brandes, of District 22 in St. Petersburg, wants to ban them in the state of Florida and filed the bill Wednesday.

"I've come to believe this has become a back door tax increase for some municipalities and we see small municipalities putting these in intersections and generating thousands of tickets and sometimes it's accounting for a huge portion of overall budgets," said Brandes.

Brandes is not convinced the cameras increase traffic safety. "There's some data that it does not decrease accidents at all. In fact some municipalities are seeing an increase in accidents at intersections where they've installed red light cameras."

Also, his office has received hundreds of emails from people complaining about inconsistencies with the violations caught on camera, including right-hand turns on red, and the length of yellow lights.

Driver Annette Horner supports his efforts.  "I have to agree that some of them are money makers, some of the yellow lights are shorter than others," said Horner.

But others, like Erica Nieves, believe the cameras make drivers more careful at busy intersections. "It does. I think about the camera and I don't want to do something stupid and end up getting a ticket," said Nieves.

Brandes is the chairman of the transportation committee, where the bill should come up for consideration first. S

State Representative Frank Artiles of Miami has written a companion bill for the house.

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