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Safety or Profit? Red-Light Cameras in Florida

In March 2012, Pascoe County Judge Anne Wansboro ruled in favor of Thomas Filippone, who, after having travelled through an intersection that was equipped with a red-light camera, received a $158 traffic ticket in the mail.

Judge Wansboro decided the matter on the constitutional level, writing that red-light camera use “impermissibly shifts the burden of proof to the Defendant and therefore does not afford due process, and is unconstitutional to the extent due process is not provided,” as Liz Klimas reports for Blaze.com.

The issue, boiled down to its essence, rests on drivers accused of committing a traffic offense – and being fined for it in the mail – with a complete end-run around being considered innocent until proven guilty.

Moreover, the presence of red-light cameras in Florida has led many to question whether it’s really a matter of safety, as camera-advocates argue, or a matter of generating revenue for local government and the private companies who run the cameras.

Most commentators on Klimas’s report seem to be in favor of banning and removing red-light cameras in Florida. “SGTB” wrote: “Red light cameras do not increase safety, quite the opposite is true,” and went on to claim that increasing the length of a yellow light, along with an “all stop” cycle, would do far more to increase safety at intersections.

Florida drivers can get caught by red-light cameras all across the state, but for the most part, red-light cameras are clustered in highly-populated metropolitan areas, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Jacksonville.

Source: Florida Judge Ruling Finds Red Light Cameras Unconstitutional

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