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Updated: State Red Light Camera Study Shows Decrease In Crashes

A new report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety says crashes at intersections with red light cameras are down, and  the findings could bolster the case for more cameras.

According to the state’s new report, more than half of the 73 agencies surveyed reported crashes at intersections with red light cameras were down. Eleven agencies reported crashes were up and 14 had no information available. Local law enforcement agencies say the main reason intersections are chosen for the cameras. They also looked at the number of citations issued and video surveillance.  Between July 2011 and June 2012, almost a million red light camera tickets were issued. Most people paid them. But for the 20,000 folks  who chose to challenge their citations, about 70 percent were dismissed.

The study also found drivers are being a lot more careful these days. In intersections without the cameras, fewer people ran red lights and stop signs.

The report does not mean people are still in favor of the red light cameras.

Democratic State Representative Daphne Campbell has filed a bill to remove red light cameras, but the Florida League Of Cities issued its own statement in support of them.

The state gets about $70 for every ticket issued and citations range from about $158-$200. In the last few years some lawmakers have tried to reduce the role and presence of the cameras. But supporters say the digital patrols are here to stay.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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