Discussion of a Senate bill aiming to abolish all red light cameras in Florida was postponed Wednesday after several amendments failed to pass the Transportation Committee.
The bill is similar to Rep. Frank Artiles’ (Rep-Miami) House bill, which has been the subject of controversy since its filing in early January. After failing to abolish red light cameras in a bill in last year’s session, Artiles added amendments to cut fines for red light runners caught on camera and establish alternate methods of preventing red light running.
Senate sponsor Jeff Brandes tried to do the same in the Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday.
“My bill as it stands today is a full repeal, but we’re going to get into committee here in a few minutes and we’re going to modify that bill into what I think is a reasonable solution," Brandes said. "Clearly the House is in a position where they’re not going to be able to pass a full repeal."
None of the St. Petersburg Republican’s amendments passed. Many committee members believe the red light cameras are viable safety options. But Melbourne Motorists’ Association Director Jim Thend says ticketing from the devices is too strict.
“There are people being ticketed for two-tenths of second being late for those lights. That’s not right. It’s not fair,” he said.
Thend said extending yellow light times would significantly cut the number of crashes caused by red light running.