Red Light Cameras

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Beginning July 1st, red light cameras could soon be popping up all over the state.
Governor Charlie Crist signed the "Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act" into legislation late yesterday.
Wandall was 30-years-old when a red light runner killed him on October 24, 2003.
But some people are having a hard time believing the new law is strictly a matter of driver safety.

There are currently no red light cameras in the City of Marianna.
58-year-old Bert Davis believes they would help people become better drivers.
"I think there's some that don't come to a complete stop and they should. I do admit I do roll through sometimes but I bet I'll be more conscious of it when they put cameras up that can catch you for not stopping."
"I think there's empirical evidence that shows it will reduce traffic crashes at intersections."
Marianna Police Chief Hayes Baggett says they generally work at least one traffic crash a day, but rarely do they involve red light violations.
"Very few, we seem to work more parking lot accidents."
And there are those who believe this isn't as much about safety as it is about raising money from traffic fines.
It's a notion Baggett dismisses.
"The monies that we receive from traffic tickets is very minimal."
"It's not a revenue generator unless you fail to stop, I think it would good."
Currently, a red light traffic violation will cost you $231 in Jackson County.
Baggett says he supports it only if it will improve driver safety.
"I think it'd be something worth studying and looking at to see if it would fit and work in our community, the jury's still out as far as I'm concerned."
But drivers like Davis say the red light cameras would make an impact.
"I bet I'll learn to stop next time!"

A portion of all of Florida red light violation traffic fines already goes to support the state's trauma centers.
The Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund and the Department of Health Administrative Trust Fund will receive a portion of the red light camera program revenues.


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