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Red-Light Cameras Take Heat

Even as rumors of corruption bubbled up in the industry that sells cities red-light cameras, two Republican lawmakers in Florida released a study Monday that they said supports their bills to repeal the law allowing them.

They said the study showed an increase in rear-end and angle crashes on state roads in a before-and-after look at intersections that have installed red-light cameras.

That it does, But the report from the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) also notes that the number of fatalities from red-light runners -- presumably the most important measure -- was cut in  half.

A release from the Florida League of Cities called the study "biased and inconsistent," as News Service of Florida reports.


The lawmakers who commissioned the study say they think the high revenues that are coming in to cities, the state and the industry from the cameras are really what’s behind their popularity, and that drivers are being socked with unfair fines.

The bills proposed to repeal the law are SB 144 by State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and HB 4009 by Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami.

Meanwhile RedFlex Traffic Systems, the company that installed red-light cameras in Jacksonville and has been courting others, has come under scrutiny,a New Jersey newspaper reports. A former national sales manager says the company engaged in bribing officials in 13 states, including Florida.

Most of the cities and counties that use red-light cameras have a contract with a different company.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.