Red Light Camera Repeal

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

No need to smile... It's not your face, but your license plate that could wind up on a camera Matt McCoy is determined to avoid.
He'll admit it. He used to run a red light every now and then, but no more.

"There's lots of small roads and, you know, you're going through, you know, you're on your way to lunch or whatever, but I don't do it at certain intersections, and if I know they're going to take my picture, I'm definitely going to stop!" says Matt McCoy, a local motorist.

Especially given the threat of a 158-dollar fine. The minimum under Florida's new red light camera law.

They've quickly become Florida's silent, omnipresent enforcers, but, in a flash, they could all disappear. All because lawmakers aren't happy about what they've done.

New legislation could repeal the law, which only took effect back in July. The argument? Cities and counties are using red light cameras primarily to help pad their budgets. Our goal is not to give people tickets; our goal is to get people to stop at the red lights.

Tallahassee Assistant City Manager Michelle Bono calls the claim ridiculous. She points out half of every fine goes directly to the state, and most of the rest is spent on the operation of the cameras.

"At this point, it's not looking like it's going to be a huge source of revenue for the city, but the goal was, it's about safety and getting people to stop, and we're really pleased that in Tallahassee people are hearing that message." says Michelle Bono, Assistant City Manager.

In fact, since the cameras were installed, violations at just one intersection have gone down from more than 450 to just 34 a day. A dramatic improvement Matt can believe.

People are nuts - they need to slow down!

So too, he says, do lawmakers...At least red light cameras give us a better snapshot of what their value really is.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by James on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:18 PM
    I have just learned from a red light ticket receiver who went to court that if you refuse to STIPULATE THE EVIDENCE, you will not be fined. The reason they need for you to stipulate the evidence is because there was not an officer to write the ticket, and Florida law requires for you to be able to cross-examine your witness (police officer who wrote you). So basically, the unlawful use of the red light cameras for enforcement is being allegedly "CORRECTED" by such lousy stipulation. Wow ! The City of Tallahassee is really worried about your rights huh? Refuse the evidence as admissible !! Walk out without paying!! Try it out. They are ASKING you if you want a ticket while in court. Just say NO !!!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2011 at 08:53 AM
    If People would pay atention to there driving Laws and the posted Signs we would not need to have these cameras. For all of the people complaining about the right Turns if you READ the Florida drivers manual it states you must come to complete stop before you make your turn. I Have seen some really bad acidents at these intersections in the past, if people would put down the phones and not give themselves only 5 mn to get across town so they drive like maniacs, or look at it as yellow means speed up, it REALLY means prepare to STOP!!! maybe the state needs to make every intersection like these to stop all of the idiot drivers for a few years so people relearn how to drive correctly!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    @J. Timney - Curious as to what freedom you have lost. Your chances of getting away with lawbreaking went down. Is that the freedom you refer to? Can I come over and shoot you in the face? That is a law I think is stupid, so is it okay if I want to violate it? A lead slug or a 65mph, 1.5 ton hunk of momentum, all the same, right? But jeez, you have your freedom. When your freedom starts impacting mine then we have concerns. Stop acting as if you are better than the rest of humanity and can make your own rules/laws. Too many inconsiderate people.
  • by No Nanny on Feb 4, 2011 at 04:13 AM
    Just get rid of the cameras and the legislators who vote to keep them.
  • by Rear End! Location: Tallahassee on Feb 4, 2011 at 02:27 AM
    I use to be in outside sales. I was in my car all the time. When "Session" came to town, it was State Legislator's running the red lights. Yes, our Law makers and Law breakers. Sociopaths above the law!
  • by Walking the cross walk. Location: Tallahassee on Feb 4, 2011 at 02:14 AM
    Please, put up more photo cells. People on their Cellular communication devices need to learn to stop at red lights. I cross three streets to get to my bus stop. All three crossings have become more dangerous over the past twenty four months. I vividly watch people come through a "red" light and they are talking on their cell phones. I've not been hit yet! If and when that day happens, I'll be suing the city, county, and state for removing a most logical disciplinary device. Smile, "Your on Candid Camera!"
  • by Lip Cheese on Feb 3, 2011 at 08:28 PM
    Go Kim, I am glad someone out here has a sense of humor. Kim makes a good point, what would it take to help people learn love, respect, peace, and responsibility??
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2011 at 08:23 PM
    I'm not "anti-red light cameras" but I want this program to be fair in its operation and ensure that people are victimized by it. My son is a victim in the "red light camera" business. The photograph clearly shows him stopped and his brake lights on in a right-hand turn lane where he did make a complete stop (Tennessee & S. Monroe). It's an incline there that also serves as a blind spot to the left of someone making a right-hand turn. One has to ease out a bit beyond the pedestrian crosswalk to see beyond the cars to the left in order to make a safe, right turn on red. We're appealing.
  • by good ole days Location: ga on Feb 3, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    i miss the good ole days before tecnology. back when you could honestly scream thru a red light and kill a family and getaway with it.
  • by Kim Location: Tally on Feb 3, 2011 at 06:29 PM
    @ lip cheese.....seriously......! How scary is it to know these people walk among us every day. Obey the traffic laws and problem solved. If your not speeding and paying attention as you should be you will not run a red light nor will you rear end the person in front of you. Wow I solved the problem. Guess they won't be injecting me with anything terminal! Woohoo
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