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Red-light camera bill heads to Crist

by Dara Kam | April 27th, 2010

A bill that would end eight years of disputes over red-light cameras is on its way to Gov. Charlie Crist’s desk.

The Senate gave final approval to the measure (HB 325) with a 30-7 vote just before noon. The House passed it last week with a 77-33 vote.

The bill would allow cities and counties to use the cameras, set fines at $158 per ticket and possibly put an end to court cases challenging local governments’ issuance of tickets without a state rule backing them up.

The proposal is Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson’s number one priority because of an accident nearly a decade ago in which several Palm Beachers were killed in an intersection collision.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner objected that the bill lets rental car drivers off the hook and “creates a double standard.”

Lawmakers have failed to pass the bill for eight years, but in the meantime dozens of cities, including several in Palm Beach County, have put the cameras into use.

Sen. Mike Bennett was the bill’s first sponsor eight years ago.

“I thought it was nuts. I didn’t want to have any part of it. In fact I offered to carry the bill so I could kill it. And that’s a fact,” said Bennett, R-Bradenton.

“It’s taken us eight years to get to the point…literally thousands of people have died because of red light camera running. We’ve got to do something,” he said.

Sen. Frederica Wilson said she had “the distinct honor of being one of the first recipients” of the tickets in her home town.

She said she’s proof the cameras make the roads safer.

“When I am approaching a red light and I used to go through cautions, etc… never, ever again,” said Wilson, D-Miami.

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8 Responses to “Red-light camera bill heads to Crist”

  1. Shelby Says:

    Yes, it seems the power brokers want to pass this bill… but what about the citizens? Why not put this measure to a referrendum? Because it would be voted down, that’s why. Instead of using cameras that are only there to generate revenue as admitted by many cities with red light cameras, why not let the citizens vote on this? Because, repeating myself, we the people would vote this nonsense DOWN.

  2. Veto Bigger Trucks Bill Says:

    Governor Crist should sign the red light bill but veto SB 2362.

    Law enforcement, fire rescue and local government officials throughout Florida are opposed to language in SB 2362 that would increase truck weight limits on local roads, which would increase traffic fatalities and damage to Florida’s already failing roads and bridges.,0,1171474.story

  3. JR Says:

    Another Tax on the citizens, PBP please post a list of those who voted for and against this.

  4. JR Says:

    I see my congressman Carl Domino voted for the bill. I wonder why….hmmmm….oh I see, his district office is in JUNO BEACH.
    I cannot wait to vote NO on DOMINO!

  5. Peter O'Brien Says:

    Thank god this is finally to an end. After 8 years, the state finally took control of the issue to make it a more uniform ticketing process. Still sucks to get a ticket, but at least now you know what you are getting into if you run a red light.

  6. N. Nelson Says:

    Eight years is a long time- finally we have some movement on the cameras- I think they will make the intersections safer and keep drivers responsible.

  7. Isabelle Says:

    Sign it Crist!

  8. Albert Says:

    I say veto this bill.

    Fleet managers will be required to file an affidavit under this law naming the driver.

    However, the law specifically forbids any photographs other than the rear of the vehicle. Thus, HOW do they expect such managers to swear who the driver is without a front photo. Remember that company records that might indicate who the driver is are unlikely to be maintained by the manager, and the affidavit MUST be based ONLY on personal knowledge.

    Oh, now I see, it is not about traffic safety at all, it is instead a 158 dollar tax on this business since we will be unable to nominate the driver, and thus under the law will get stuck with the fine.

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