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 Holly Red Light Cameras are in danger of being rescinded.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 Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.