Red-light cameras generate revenue, controversy
WASHINGTON (MCT) — Florida drivers who were caught by red-light cameras paid more than $100 million in traffic fines last year. But whether the cameras made Florida’s roads safer — or just swelled state and city coffers — is an open question.
“Three years ago, these red-light cameras were pitched as safety devices,” said state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who has proposed a state ban on the cameras. “Instead, they’ve been a backdoor tax increase.”
A 2012 audit in St. Petersburg showed the number of dangerous side-impact collisions did decrease at intersections where the red-light cameras had been installed. However, rear-end collisions actually increased at those intersections, as more drivers stopped short to avoid violations.
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