New Study Gives Red Light Cameras Mixed Review

TALLAHASSEE - 74 cities and five counties operate red light cameras in Florida. A new study by a state government watch dog is giving cameras a mixed review.

Red light camera revenue is up from $37 million in two years ago to a whopping $118 million last year. Sen. Jeff Brandes wants to repeal the 2010 law that allows red light cameras.

"We've tolerated this back door tax increase for too long. It is time we bring some common sense to the traffic policies of the state of Florida," said Sen. Brandes.

A study by the legislature's office of policy analysis and accountability found fatal crashes down by 49 percent at red light camera intersections, but the number of rear end crashes is up,.

The Florida League of Cities says the numbers prove the cameras are saving lives.

"Fewer people are running red lights, and the fact of the matter is 49 percent fewer people died this year as a result of red light running," said Casey Cook with the FL League of Cities.

Opponents argue the data is sketchy. They appear poised to recommend bug changes if they can't engineer a full repeal.

"We should require that traffic studies be done for each and every intersection with a red light camera. Second, we need to require that traffic safety counter measures be implemented before installing red light cameras."

A legislative committee will hear from the authors of this report later this week.

The cameras cost cities and counties between $4200 and $4700 a month for each camera. 15 cities generated more than a million dollars in revenue from the cameras last year.