Red Light Camera Changes Shot Down


Getting caught on a red light camera costs violators 158 dollars. They've got 30 days to pay up. State Senator Joe Abruzzo wanted to cut that fine to a hundred bucks and give motorists 90 days to pay or challenge.

"In a lot of cases they are not even getting the notice until right when that 30 days is about up. We have due process, we need to make sure that residents have a chance to challenge what occurred," said Abruzzo.

Abruzzo also wants to increase and standardize the length of yellow lights at intersections where there is red light cameras. That brought Kathi Forsell to the state capitol. The Tampa woman is blind and had to be helped to the podium. She pleaded with lawmakers not to make changes.

"So many of us who cannot see very well are being hit in our own cities," said Forsell.

Forsell had an army of police as well as the cities and counties behind her. Orlando has 26 of the cameras.

"It truly does save lives. You know the t-bone crash we've had significant reduction in that," said Kathleen Russell.

The legislation also seeks to stop tickets from being written when a right turn is made on red. The city of Tallahassee says it already uses caution before it issues such ticket.

"We've written very few. And it's only when we felt that a pedestrian's life was in danger," said Major Chris Connell with the Tallahassee Police Department.

Committee approved was what the police and cities wanted; a watered down version. The sponsor says he will keep pushing for more changes

Most likely outcome of this legislative session is a study to see how well the cameras are working.


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