Attorney David I. Fuchs
May. 5, 2014
Car Accident Law
Last month, the state’s House committee heard debates regarding a new bill that aims to place restrictions and limitations on the existing red-light camera program. Red light cameras are a topic of much concern, and drivers across the state have expressed differing opinions as to how safe the cameras actually make the intersections, and how effective they are at reducing traffic accidents, personal injury lawyers in Florida say.
Currently, red light cameras have been set up at many of the traffic lights across the state’s roads and intersections under the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act of 2010. The Act, better known as the Red Light Camera Law, was introduced after the death of Mark Wandall, who was struck and killed when another driver ran a red light. The cameras take a photo of the driver and the license plate when they detect that a vehicle has run a red light, and based on that photo, local law enforcement officials send out a bill for the traffic infraction.
Now, after almost 4 years of red light camera usage, Wandall’s widow is urging lawmakers to keep the cameras in existence, while others debate whether the devices are actually cutting down on accidents and fatalities, and how best to use the money earned from fines charged to those who are caught on film.
The new bill, headed by Rep. Frank Artiles, would propose several restrictions on the cameras, placing accountability for their effectiveness with the municipalities in which they operate. Originally, the bill intended to cut down on the fine for running a red light, but ultimately keeps the fee at $158. If the bill passes, all governments would be required to report their crash data every other year, and would allocate 70 percent of all revenue earned in finable infractions caught on red light cameras for traffic safety.
Rep. Artiles had plans to place a ban on cities putting up new red light cameras, but this has been taken out of the final draft of his legislation. Legislative reports show that red light cameras have captured more than 1,200 crashes since the 2010 Act was put into effect, but in that time, only 18 fewer accidents occurred. The program has, at last count, generated more than $115 million in revenue, which has been split between the local governments and the state, personal injury attorneys in Florida report. Now, lawmakers want to direct this money back to the public, to increase safety and reduce accidents.
Regardless of whether the state decides to keep the red light traffic cameras at all intersections, our personal injury lawyers at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.A. urge pedestrians and drivers to pay close attention to their surroundings at all red lights and stop signs, and to obey any traffic signs they may encounter. Safety is key to preventing accidents and saving lives. If you have been injured, or have lost a loved one, in a car accident involving a red light or traffic infraction, contact David Fuchs for a free consultation today.