Traffic laws are instated to promote public safety—or so lawmakers
say. The newest innovation to uphold these laws is the traffic red light
camera. These cameras are designed to take pictures of motorists who are
breaking traffic laws by
driving through red lights. When Florida first instated the traffic camera law, it was done under
the claim that safety was a top priority. These cameras were supposed
to deter violations that put drivers at risk.
Now it has become clear that safety was never the primary motivation behind
these cameras. Rather, Florida officials were interested in the revenue
it would produce. This revelation has come as Brooksville, Florida discloses
that it will no longer be using the cameras after the state’s traffic
law about right-turn-on-red law changes. It used to be that turning right
on a red without first coming to a full stop was illegal. Now, as long
as a driver exercises caution and discretion, they can turn on red without
coming to the full stop.
The problem is that the traffic cameras were primarily catching these particular
offenses. In the city in question—Brooksville—the cameras
had handed out 5,477 tickets. Of these tickets, 3,334 were for right turn
on red violations. Now that this move is no longer considered illegal,
more than half of these tickets will be done away with. This means that
the city will make significantly less profit off of these cameras.
As it stands, the state charges $83 on a ticket that the camera will dole
out. The vendor who owns and operates the camera receives $40 dollars.
After all extra fees are paid, the city ends up being left with a meager
$35. Apparently this is not enough revenue for the city. With less tickets
being handed out and little real money being made of the existing tickets,
Brooksville has expressed its disinterest in the red light camera program—clearly
admitting the real desire behind the politicians push for these cameras.
If you have been charged with a
traffic offense, whether it is a simple ticket, a reckless driving charge, or an open
container accusation, you can fight back. It is the responsibility of
the police to prove that you are guilty of the charges they have laid
against you. If you pay your ticket, you are essentially admitting to
your guilt. This can end up on your record and follow you for the rest
of your life. Instead, work with a traffic defense lawyer who can defend
you and your rights. At Parks & Braxton PA, we are dedicated to fighting
for you. As former prosecutors, we know a traffic case from both sides
of the argument.