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Red-light cameras


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It's the Holy Grail for cash-strapped localities: cameras, supplied by a private company, that snag red-light runners. The company takes a cut, the city gets the money, and it's win-win for everybody.

Red-light runners are one resource that South Florida possesses in an abundant, inexhaustible supply. Tapping into them is like harnessing the power of the sun.

Besides, everybody hates them, so it's like taxing child abuse or something. There's no constituency of red-light runners that will organize to push back against being targeted.

Another advantage I see is that, this being Florida, the rear-end collision side-effect of drivers slamming on their brakes at the last moment will be more pronounced than in other states where these cameras are being tried. Take into account all the usual text-messaging, phone-yakking, ingesting of dangerous drugs, and doing make-up while driving that happens in every state, and add to it the slower reaction time of a tailgating senior who is trying to get through the light because, like everybody else in Florida, it's important to get wherever you're going ahead of all the other drivers, and you've provided a stimulus for one of our major industries: personal injury lawsuits.

It's the gift that keeps on giving.

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Comments

They tested schemes to defeat these on Mythbusters, and the only hope appears to be the highly illegal gimmick they rigged up to do a James Bond like flipping of the license plate to a phony when speeding through a light. I suggest anyone trying this use a duplicate of the mayor's tag in the community where you test your license plate flipping rig and see how the whole presumed guilty till you prove yourself innocent aspect works for the city officials :-).


the license plate sprays don't work and using htem is illegal i htink.

you can get a gps red light camera detector like www.gpsangel.com

that works. i picked up one on amazon for $99.


False! There is an organized group to defeat the red light cameras. Both the National Motorists Association have teamed up to defeat red light cameras. Unfortunately, this year, red light cameras are likely to pass due to lawmakers greed, not a concern over pubic safety. Accidents increase where red light cameras are installed according to independent studies. The average red light violation accident is 8 seconds into the red while the average violation is less than 1 second into the red. Most violations do not result in an accident. Cameras will ticket violators but will do nothing to reduce accidents. These are the facts. Your legislators ignore them.


Intersection accidents, especially red light and stop sign infractions, can result in the most deadly accidents - the t-bone.

They are not common but they make up for in severity what they lack in frequency.

The rear-ending that results from people following too close to stop when the vehicle in front stops unexpectedly -- for a red light -- is less dangerous if more common.

If the cameras cause more rear-end collisions the combination of the cost to the driver in the vehicle that hits the rear of another coupled with a heavy fine should begin the education process.


too much action....Camera!


The cameras are a great idea, but the fines should be greatly reduced and there should be a way to reduce the fine even more by going to a web site within 48 hours and paying online. An electronic sign down the street should indicated that a ticket was just issued.


It would be really great if all the ignorant morons who oppose red light cameras (for whatever reason) were to be the victim of a red light runner accident. Then maybe they would gain the intelligence that they missed out on from lack of maturity.


My understanding is that part of the contractual agreement is that the city agrees to reduce yellow light time. Generally, yellow lights are 1 second per every ten miles of the posted speed limit. So if it's 30mph, then the yellow light will last 3 seconds.
With the agreed-upon reduction of yellow light time, more accidents are likely. It's been proven so repeatedly in cities which rolled these out before South Florida.


Having been hit in the side by a red light runner and survived, with injuries that took me from an active life style, I fully support the recent passing of the law in Florida where I live. The ones growling the most are the idiots who feel they have the right to ignore these red light, the stop signs, and the speed laws. And they need to be brought to task, bu hitting where it hurts, in the wallet. The fact these cameras will catch them may make them think twice before stomping on the gas pedal and taking a chance the other will slam on their brakes and let them through. You get slammed a couple times for the near $200 fine and I'll bet that they decide real quick it's not worth running the light even if they never did hit anyone. The law is the law, deal with it!


I favor stepped-up enforcement of red-light running, but not via cameras which are not infallable and presume guilt. Also, alledged violator has no way to recollect situation as first knowledge of infraction is a notice in the mail received days after the alledged infraction. Doesn't seem fair that you should rely on the Postal Service to issue citations. Doesn't seem to be a postal function.
Cameras are about greed and $$ for vendors and government agencies trying to cover shortfall at the expense of victims who might be innocent.

Studies show increased rear-end collisions at Red light camera locations and that t-bones are reduced where yellow signal is set at a reasonable interval.

Red light cameras preclude a motorist from defending oneself when the camera erred.


Agree w/ one of the poster- those against the camera need to grow up.

Some idiots just could not resist the temptation to run a red light! I almost got hit by one car being driven by a latino-- red light and I was already crossing the street and this idiot still want to run me over!


Realize ONE thing. These cameras are installed by camera companies to make money. They could care less about safety. They view the pictures and videos. They decide who gets fine letters. What is their accountability to the local governments? It's an honesty system and with the government, how far is that going to go. No doubt, both the camera company and the government will make money, but where it goes, and how much, is anyone's guess. Chalk up one more for the bad guys!!


I am a 38yo father of a beautiful 18 month old boy. While riding my motorcycle on the way home from work on Dixie Hwy in Pompano a couple of weeks ago I almost crashed. While approaching an intersection the driver of the van I was riding behind (at a safe distance) at about 40mph suddenly locked up his brakes at a yellow light. I was already braking, but his emergency stop forced me to brake hard resulting in a rear brake lock-up and slide. Thank God I have over 500k miles riding. I was able to slide around his bumper and avoid slamming into his van. I stopped well short of the stop line at the intersection, the van finally came to a stop 1/2 way through the intersection and backed up. The driver rolled down his window to apologize, stating that he couldn't afford to get a red-light camera ticket. I told him that:
1) The light was yellow for him
2) There were no red-light cameras at that intersection (only traffic cams)
3) A red-light ticket would be better than killing me.
I looked back and marveled at my 35 foot skid-mark, and realized that although my objections to the red-light cameras have always been political, now they are also due to safety concerns. These cameras must go NOW!


I am against the Cameras. They are not about safety, they are about increasing revenue to the municipality.

If it the debate was about safety then the municipalities would look at traffic patterns, timings of lights, better signage and lane markings, and ultimately put a cop at the most dangerous intersections.

Simply putting up a sign and a camera and think it is going to do anything is absurd.


None of the posts have mentioned the gift of tax payer supported insurance premiums that will rise with more red light infractions. The insurance companies love red light cameras, they can justify a premium spike. Insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank.


Here’s a novel idea: how about actually obeying the traffic laws these types of enforcement are designed to prevent. As my grandmother always said, “the mettle of a man is what he does when no one is looking”.


Looks like defense attorney's will be busier defending alleged *red* *light* *runners* they have been and will continue to defeat the system


The $cameras are always sold to greedy jurisdictions as an easy way to put free money in their pockets. What the $camera companies don't tell the politicians is that the $cam is ultimately unenforceable, but the greedy jurisdictions find that out eventually as more and more citizens refuse to be duped into paying the $cam. Unfortunately for those jurisdictions that sold their souls to the Devil for promised revenue, they are still contractually obligated to pay the Devil for his $cameras. Heed the experience of Arizona, Los Angeles, Houston, Albuquerque and other jurisdictions that have experienced the sorrow of selling themselves for false promises of revenue. $cams never work, except for the $cammers.


Boy, it doesn't happen but once in a blue moon, but I think Chan and I are in agreement on this! FL drivers are the worst in the nation, and the most inconsiderate. I've lived in several states and the level of incompetency and inconsiderness is almost unbelievable.

Bring on the red light cameras. Not because the politicians want them. Only because they will make us safer. The politicians are as bad as the drivers here.


Why not increase the yellow light time and hold the red all the way around for a few seconds to let the intersection clear. These camera have nothing to do with safety, it is all about the money. But to bad the municipalities budgets aren't getting any better, ha ha ha!


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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