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Another City Opts Out of Red Light Camera Program

June 30th, 2015 by flanews

The $158 dollar red light camera fine has annoyed plenty of drivers around the state. As Matt Galka tells us, another city is opting out of the program – and cities around the state aren’t seeing the same amount of money coming in they once did.

Attorney Ian Nesbeth has defended dozens of red light camera tickets.  He says they’ve been a headache for the past five years, and they’re unconstitutional because cities send off pictures of the potential violator to a third party.

“If the state wishes to reduce the number of infractions, then put some more police officers out there, lets get something that’s actually constitutional that complies with our laws,” said Nesbeth.

Nesbeth and other Tallahassee attorneys won’t have to worry much longer. Florida’s capital is taking the cameras down in August.

In the city of Tallahassee’s case, one of the reasons the cameras are coming down is because drivers are driving better. Instead of pulling up to yellow lights and speeding through them, drivers are hitting the breaks.

“There’s not enough people running red lights to pay for the program,” said City spokeswoman Michelle Bono.

And there’s a statewide revenue dip.  Revenue from red light camera tickets went from $62 million in 2013 to just $37 million in 2014.

The Florida League of Cities says they empower the cities to do as they see fit.

 

“The league has the position that cities that determine that it enhances public safety, they should be able to use cameras,” said Legislative Affairs Director Scott Dudley.

But feedback from local governments has been positive.

“There’s people who are getting tickets at red lights that are not too happy about it,” said Dudley.

The state legislature has failed at repealing the program recently. If revenue numbers continue to trend downwards, more local governments will be faced with the decision of whether or not to leave them up.

$83 dollars of every $158 dollar ticket goes to the state of Florida. The remaining $75 dollars is used to pay for the cameras…if violations and revenue continue to go down, many cities could opt out or continue to pay for the program out of pocket.

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