Florida House panel OKs red light camera repeal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A bill to repeal Florida's law permitting the use of cameras to ticket motorists who run red lights has begun moving through the Legislature.

Its first committee of reference narrowly approved the bill (HB 4011) on Thursday.

Law enforcement officials argued against repeal, saying the cameras save lives.

The fear is, in the near future there will be no more privacy because everything will be recorded. But supporters of the devices say they don't mind giving up their privacy or yours if they can save just one life.

Opponents contended studies on their effectiveness are flawed and contended the real issue is money.

The state gets $83 of each $158 fine. That amounted to $51 million in the last full budget year. Local governments and camera contractors get the rest.

The bill is on a fast track in the House with only one more committee stop - Appropriations - before a possible floor vote. It may have problems in the Senate, though, where no similar legislation has been filed.

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