Updates on Local Red Light Cameras and Why They Matter
The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that the New Port Richey City Council will remain in the red-light camera business after the council unanimously approved a new three-year contract with a third party company to continue to operate five cameras in the city at a cost of $20,000 a month. The cameras are located on U.S. 19 northbound at Trouble Creek Road, northbound at Floramar Terrace, northbound and southbound at Gulf Drive, and on the westbound lanes of Main Street at U.S. 19.
What Are Red Light Cameras and What is Their Supposed Benefit?
Red light cameras are used across the state to prevent drivers from running red lights at some of the most collision-prone intersections with the goal of lowering the number of accidents that happen as a result of running red lights.
Why is the City Keeping its Red Light Cameras?
According to the City Manager as reported to the Times, the red light cameras have been a successful public safety program. She has also reported that there have been no fatalities or rear-end crashes at the intersections where there are red-light cameras and the recidivism rate for violators getting a second ticket is only four percent. The Police Chief indicated her support for the renewal in a memo in which she also asserted that crash rates on U.S. 19 remain high, as does red-light running at the camera intersections.
Do State Statistics Indicate That Red Light Cameras Are Beneficial?
Interestingly, no. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles published a report earlier this year that suggests there actually is no statewide evidence that red light cameras reduce the number of accidents. In contrast, it was reported that the total number of accidents at intersections with red light cameras actually increased over 15 percent across 31 jurisdictions studied over a five year period.
Why Are Red Light Cameras Controversial?
While some critics debate whether red light cameras offer any real safety benefit, one of the greatest reasons for controversy over the years is actually attributable to a widely-held belief that the real motivation for red light cameras has nothing to do with public safety. Instead, some of the biggest critics believe that the justification for red light cameras is rooted more in making money than safety.
Notably, even the Times article indicates that red light cameras continue to be a significant revenue stream for the city. These cameras reportedly generated almost $700,000 during the 2017-18 fiscal year as well as over $306,000 just by March of this year.
Turn to Us For Help.
Unfortunately, as beneficial as red light cameras may be, they cannot overcome negligence. Every day, innocent drivers and their passengers are injured because others negligently cut it too close and run red lights, causing a car accident. If you have been injured in a red light collision, it is essential that you obtain competent legal help as soon as possible. The South Florida car accident attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez have extensive experience helping victims of others’ negligence and we can help you begin pursuing the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.