Tallahassee FL government law: House members approve red-light cameras

Legal News for Florida Government Attorneys. The Florida House of Representatives voted 77-33 in the red-light camera debate; Senate to vote next.

Florida government lawyer alert- Senate to hear bill concerning red-light cameras; passed with 77-33 vote in Florida House of Representatives.

Tallahassee, FL—The legislative debate concerning red-light cameras and whether or not they should be used to fine red-light runners won approval in the House with a 77-33 vote on Friday, April 23, 2010. The bill was expected to be heard by the Senate on Monday, and would enable law enforcement officials to fine violators $158, subsequently generating proceeds for local and state governments, as well as trauma centers and the state’s Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, according to information provided by the Sun-Sentinel.

Reports stated if they bill is passed, the cameras would be installed at the intersections of roadways as a means of catching red-light runners. While the controversial subject has long been under public and governmental scrutiny and caused separate debates as to how the proceeds would be split, House members have seemingly come up with a method to the madness.

If the local government were to be placed in charge of operating the red-light cameras, proceeds would be divided as such:

$75—local government
$70—state government
$10—trauma centers
$3—Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund

However, if the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) were to be placed in control of the cameras, proceeds would be divided as such:

$45—local government
$100—state government
$10—trauma centers
$3—Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund

Also, statewide guidelines would allegedly be set to prohibit officials from issuing traffic violations if the violator is caught on camera as opposed to on the roadway. Instead, civil infractions, which do not add points to the offender’s driving record or cause auto insurance rate inflation, would be issued.

The bill was named after Mark Wandall, who was fatally injured in a motor vehicle collision (MVC) involving a red-light runner. According to his wife, Melisa, who was pregnant with their first child when the deadly accident occurred, “They work and I believe them… It’s a very great day, because we have a way to curb the behavior of red-light runners. We’ve done a lot of hard work trying to get people to understand this safety issue. The state isn’t going to make any money unless people don’t stop running red lights.”

In opposition to the bill is Rep. Robert Schenck, who stated, “I believe this is nothing but a revenue grab… The government has an insatiable appetite for our people’s hard-earned money. This is the biggest, biggest intrusion of government into our lives. What’s next?”

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Government Lawyers.