[tabi] Red Light Cameras

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 19:47:29 -0400

From: fcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxx [mailto:fcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Sherri
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 9:07 AM
To: "Undisclosed-Recipient:;"@radio.acb.org
Subject: [fcb-l] Fw: Red Light Cameras
I am forwarding the following to encourage all of us to call or write our
reps to
oppose the proposed legislation to get rid of red light cameras. Doug and
Nancy Hall
have written excellent letters and I encourage all of us to do the same.
Sherri
----- Original Message -----
From:
Holly
To:
Holly Idler
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 7:48 AM
Subject: Red Light Cameras
I received this email from a good friend of mine. I think it is important
for us
to call our Representatives and let them know that we need to keep the red
light
cameras in place. If people are following the laws, then they should not be
against
them. The people who don't feel that the law applies to them are the ones
who are
against the red light cameras.
It is in my opinion that the blind are safer with the cameras in place. If a
car
is running a red light, it is caught on tape. There is a miss conception
that the
red light cameras take pictures of the drivers and everyone in the car. This
is not
true. The camera takes a picture of the back of the cars where the license
plate
is located. The driver is not seen at all. Therefore, if you loan your car
to someone
and they run the red light, you get the ticket, not the driver.
Holly
Red Light Cameras are in danger of being rescinded.
Write your legislators and write letters to the editor if you want them to
continue.
This week the Florida House will be voting on HB 4087, rescinding the red
light camera
law.
Florida House of Representatives - Local representatives:
District 27    Representative Dwayne Taylor  Email:
Dwayne.Taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
          (850) 488-0580     Fax:  (850) 488-9707
District 26    Representative Fred Costello     Email:
fred.costello@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
          850-488-9873
District 28     Representative Dorothy Hukill     Email:
dorothy.hukill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
          850-488-6653
Representative Jason Brodeur - (850) 488-0468
jason.brodeur@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Representative Larry Metz - (850)488-0348
Larry.metz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Florida Senate - Local representative:
District 7    Senator Evelyn Lynn
lynn.evelyn.web@xxxxxxxxxxxx
          850-487-5033    Local: 386-238-3180
Senator John Thrasher - (850) 487-5030
thrasher.john.web@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Senator Tony Hill - (850) 487-5024
hill.anthony.web@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Senator Alan Hays - (850) 487-5014
hays.alan.web@xxxxxxxxxxxx
_________________________________
Nancy's  Letter:
Happy about red light cameras
I, for one, am in favor of the red light camera. If drivers obeyed the
traffic laws,
stopped the use of cell phones while driving and were defensive drivers,
red-light
cameras would be unnecessary.
Too many of my blind friends have been hit in their attempt to lawfully
cross streets
at intersections (Florida's white cane law, FS 316.1301, 316.1303: Drivers
must stop
for pedestrians with a white cane, guide dog or mobility aid). Too often,
drivers
ignore the ''right on red law'' and fail to yield the right of way to
pedestrians.
Too often, there are no witnesses to stand up for the victims of careless
drivers.
Perhaps these cameras will catch the lawbreakers so they can be prosecuted.
Citizens don't complain about the cameras in banks, at ATMs, toll booths, in
stores,
airports, hospitals, court houses and other government buildings - all of
which are
placed for our safety.
Those people who vocally protest against the cameras just don't want to be
caught
and told to pay for their misconduct.
Automobile accidents are decreasing where these cameras have been placed.
The new count-down walk lights alert the driver as to when the light will
turn, thus
preventing any need to suddenly brake.
As a side benefit, cities and the state of Florida are getting a little
needed income
during these hard economic times.
Please DO NOT rescind these needed safety measures.
__________________________
Doug's letter:
I understand that an attempt has been made to overturn the Legislature's
previous
vote to permit red light cameras at intersections in Florida.  As far as I
am concerned,
supporters of HB 4087 are voting to approve a driver's decision to endanger
pedestrians
and others by refusing to obey the law.  As for their assertion that red
light cameras
are an invasion of privacy, what about camera use by business, at many
agencies or
on the interstates?  Are the use of cameras to assist in stopping or
resolving crimes,
like robberies or assaults, an invasion of a criminal's privacy?  As for the
argument
against them, saying that their use is just a way to increase revenue, what
is wrong
with that?  I thought the administration is trying to balance the budget.
Frankly,
all a person needs to do to avoid paying these fines is to obey the law in
the first
place.
As you know, we have been endeavoring to improve pedestrian safety,
especially for
people who are blind.  In the past few years, we've had several instances
where people
who are blind have been hit while attempting to cross streets.  How can we
judge
when it is safe to cross when drivers refuse to stop for red lights or
pedestrians?
I hope and expect that use of red light cameras will assist in  pedestrian
safety.
Rather than doing away with the cameras, I'd like to see them placed at more
intersections!
_______________________
Florida House to reconsider red light camera law
Some lawmakers argue the law contributes to more accidents
April 21, 2011|
 By Kathleen Haughney, Tallahassee Bureau
Just a year after lawmakers passed a law legalizing red light cameras at
traffic
intersections, a new crop of legislators wants to slam on the brakes.
The decision authorizing local governments to install cameras - and ticket
drivers
$158 for running red lights - came after several years of debate and a push
by municipalities,
law enforcement and safety advocates. But the experience with the cameras in
South
Florida, advocates of repeal argue, justifies pulling the plug.
Both the Florida House and Senate are looking at repeal proposals, though
only the
House measure is moving. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee
voted 12-9
to send HB 4087 to the full House. Its sponsor, Rep. Richard Corcoran,
R-Trinity,
argued that cameras have actually increased the number of bad traffic
accidents at
intersections.
"Let's step back and figure out a way where we can make these intersections
safer
for our communities," he said.
_____________________
April 1, 2011
Daytona Beach has erected red-light cameras, counted the money it should
take in,
and is set to turn them on next week. But this could turn out to be a very
short-lived
experiment.
The Florida Senate's Transportation Committee voted 4-2 Tuesday for a bill
that would
ban the devices. The bill slid over to the Community Affairs Committee.
Red-light cameras take pictures or videos of license plates of cars that run
red
lights.
The registered owners of the vehicles then receive a ticket in the mail.
Florida
law started authorizing them only last year.
When the city of Daytona Beach looked at how many red-light runners it was
likely
to catch at 10 major intersections, and did the math, it figured it could
take in
more than a $1 million in the first nine months. The City Commission jumped
at the
chance to approve them.
If this bill passes, the cameras will need to come down and the city will
have a
more than million-dollar hole in its budget. But it's not like we're alone.
It's
estimated that around the state, the camera systems were going to raise $70
million
in the state's next fiscal year and $71.7 million for local governments.
__________________________
April 4, 2011
Red light cameras in full swing today
DAYTONA BEACH - Drivers might want to pay closer attention to the yellow
caution
lights at four major intersections in the city starting today.
Red light cameras were set to go into effect just after midnight Sunday,
with violations
costing $158, according to a city news release.
The four intersections set to have the cameras up and running include:
│ Clyde Morris Boulevard and West International Speedway Boulevard
│ Nova Road and International Speedway Boulevard
│ Nova Road and Mason Avenue
│ Ridgewood Avenue (U.S. 1) and International Speedway Boulevard.
Eventually, plans call for cameras at another five or six of the city's
busiest intersections.
The state will collect $83 from every $158 fine, and the Massachusetts
company that's
installing the cameras and doing most of the work on the program will charge
the
city $4,600 per month per camera.
But even after those fees, the city estimates it could still raise more than
$1 million
annually.
The program, however, could turn out to be short-lived. A bill currently
working
its way through the state Legislature would ban the cameras.
_________________________
Editorial in the News-Journal
April 6, 2011
FLORIDA VOICES Red-light cameras fail on privacy, effectiveness
By CHAR-LEZ BRADEN vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida
Red-light cameras are a cure that's worse than the disease.
Careless drivers running red lights are a serious hazard. The desire to
catch these
dangerous drivers and motivate them to be safer drivers is a good one.
Unfortunately,
the use of redlight cameras presents us with some very disturbing problems.
First is the cameras' constitutionality. In our legal system, one has the
right to
face one's accuser, per the Sixth Amendment. No defendant can subpoena a
camera and
cross-examine it, yet it is giving testimony in a legal proceeding. No law
enforcement
officer was present when the photo was taken, if it was taken at all.
Indeed, it is presumed that the photo is authentic and unedited, and that
the camera
or street light system did not fail. None of these things can be honestly
determined
in a court of law.
These are not trivial points because, taken collectively, they open the door
to justice
by robot, where evidence is manufactured, out of the control of responsible
authorities
to be used in a court proceeding against defendants who are denied their
constitutional
protections.
Second, the citation process is prone to error. In a standard situation, a
police
officer stops the car in question, identifies the driver, and, after some
discussion,
hands the driver a citation to sign which notifies the driver of the pending
charge
and gives the court evidence of such notification.
What happens in the case of a redlight camera when the citation is simply
mailed?
What if you're not often at your official residence, as may be the case for
college
students? What if you recently moved? What if you're sent on military
deployment
immediately after the photo was snapped? What if the postal service just
makes an
honest mistake? There are many reasons why people may not receive their
citation
in the mail, and yet the court is supposed to act as if you have received
proper
notice?
This leads many people to conclude the use of cameras is about money for the
government,
not safety for the drivers. And this is not just idle paranoia as you will
see with
the third point: The motives of the vendors of the equipment, and those
municipalities
that use them, are suspect at best because neither makes any money unless
someone
breaks the law. This puts the municipalities in the position of being
tempted to
arrange yellow lights and other factors to trap motorists. This may sound
like a
far-out assertion, but it is exactly what was shown to be the case in
Baltimore.
If it happened there, why not where you live?
In a time of financial stress, do we really want to allow even the
possibility of
abuse?
Fourth, the use of red-light cameras is meant to curb people causing
property damage,
injury and death. But it merely shifts the problem. As drivers become aware
of red-light
cameras, they begin to drive more erratically when presented with a yellow
or red
light as they smash the brake pedal in an attempt to avoid a ticket, thus
leading
to an increased number of rear-end collisions.
Red-light cameras create accidents - exactly the thing they were to address
- while
opening a can of worms on the constitutional issues and making a pile of
money for
cities and vendors. Does anyone else see how these things fail to pass the
sniff
test?
Fifth and finally, we have every right to ask ourselves this: Do we want to
live
in a society where cameras record our every move? This issue is not to be
left to
the politicians, who have been shown to be willing and even eager to create
a surveillance
society. At the end of the day, those are our streets and our corners and
our red
lights. We have the final say about having our every move monitored.
Free people are not lorded over by faceless ones issuing citations from
desks, on
evidence the faceless ones cannot personally vouch for. Free people drive
their cars,
not looking over their shoulders for cameras.
When you add it all up, the cost to our society far outweighs the claimed
benefits.
--
"God gives you 86,400 seconds in a day. Take one to say Thank You."
Walter A. Ward

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