Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill into law that allows cities and counties in Florida to have red light cameras as a way to enforce traffic laws. The cameras are set up at various intersections and take a picture of the vehicles and license tags when drivers run red lights at those intersections. Citations with the fines for those violations are then sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Prior to this bill, Florida neither allowed nor prohibited such cameras, but the DOT did not allow red light cameras at intersections on state roads. Fifty counties and cities already have these red light cameras in place. The new law provides that a ticket for running a red light caught on camera would cost $158.
It is not surprising that Florida is approving of this law now. Revenue from the red light camera citations is estimated to be as much as $100 million for Florida by 2014 at a time when all states are struggling to raise money.
Last year, we discussed some of the problems associated with these red light cameras. In the past, he Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has indicated a desire to put up red light cameras at certain busy intersections on Atlantic Boulevard, Southside Boulevard and Baymeadows Road, but they have not done so because the laws did not specifically allow them. Now that Governor Crist has signed the red light camera bill into law, Jacksonville may be seeing red light cameras at some of the busier intersections in the city.