With the increasing presence of red light cameras in Tampa and other south-central
Florida cities, the controversy over these devices persists. Arizona-based
red light camera operator, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has installed
several hundred cameras throughout the sunshine state. ATS company workers
believe that the cameras positively modify driver behavior and claim that
nine out of ten drivers who have received a ticket for running a red light
have not received a second. However, many drivers question the intended
purpose of the cameras and believe they have been implemented simply to
make money. Furthermore, some drivers believe it’s an ineffective
attempt at traffic safety.
A similar argument exists regarding the same type of technology used in
unmanned/automated speed enforcement cameras. Although automated speed
enforcement cameras are not currently used by officials in the sunshine
state, Florida is not among the
12 states that currently have laws banning these devices. Many traffic law advocates
fear that they may be seen on Florida roads in the next few years.
Below is a list of Pros and Cons concerning the use of this technology
as a form of traffic regulation.
Automated Red Light and Speed Enforcement Camera Pros:
- Accident frequency, particularly T-bone or broadside collisions, is reduced
at intersections with red light cameras.
- Traffic law violations drop significantly in areas with red light or speed
- Pedestrian fatalities have decreased at the majority of intersections with
red light cameras.
Automated Red Light and Speed Enforcement Camera Cons:
- Municipalities install enforcement cameras with a primary focus on budgetary
revenues, rather than increased public safety.
- Enforcement cameras offer greater financial benefit for out-of-state operators,
like ATS, over that of local city and town governments.
- Factoring in legal fees and salaries associated with enforcing camera violations,
some municipalities have realized net revenue losses stemming from these
Governors’ Highway Safety Association –http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/auto_enforce.html
The Daily Beast –