Lawmakers continue efforts to eliminate red-light cameras

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The House is on a fast track to try to repeal Florida's red-light camera law, with the Appropriations Committee this week voting to back elimination of the devices by July 2021. 

It is the only committee that will hear the bill before the issue moves to the House floor during the 2018 legislative session. 

According to a December 2016 survey by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 59 cities and counties reported using red-light cameras. 

Motorists cited for red-light camera violations face a $158 fine. 

Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, one of the bill's sponsors, urged members to back the repeal, arguing the cameras are more important to local governments as a revenue source than as a traffic-safety measure. 

“While it was well-intended way back when, when it was first passed, I think we are seeing now that the data just isn’t proving that it is reducing crashes or that it’s changing behavior," Ingoglia said.

Representatives from the city of Orlando asked lawmakers to reject the repeal, arguing the cameras are improving road safety. 

Also, the Florida League of Cities said local governments should be allowed to make their own decisions about the cameras under the state's “home rule” policy. 

In prior legislative sessions, the House has backed a ban on red-light cameras, but repeal efforts have faltered in the Senate.

News Service of Florida