Sen. Mike Haridopolos must keep red-light cameras alive. Proving as wishy-washy as teenagers, the Florida House on Monday completed its reckless red-light camera roundabout. Last year, legislators granted local governments authority to install the safety devices at intersections. This year, Rep. Richard Corcoran rolled out House Bill 4087 to rescind that thumbs up. Disappointingly, lawmakers bought the New Port Richey Republican's misleading spiel about red-light cameras causing more accidents than they prevented. The measure now heads to the Senate. There, a companion bill squeaked through the Senate Transportation Committee in late March. It has remained stalled ever since. Given the Senate bill's inertia and a fast-approaching Friday legislative adjournment, conventional wisdom suggests red-light cameras should survive this wrongheaded challenge. Only, this Legislature has poked a stick in the eye of conventional wisdom. Look no further than House Speaker Dean Cannon. The Winter Park Republican cast one of the decisive yes votes that pushed through Corcoran's bill in a 59-57 photo finish. Cannon - who was for red-light camera use before he was against it. If Wrongway Cannon can so suddenly lose the bearings that once pointed toward public safety, it's not inconceivable that this stalled but still dangerous bill could gain 11th-hour traction. We hope that Senate President Mike Haridopolos steps up to ensure the bill never sees the Senate floor. All along, Corcoran has insisted that the cameras boost crash rates and produce ticketing errors. Even though law-enforcement officials back the devices. Even though researchers at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have concluded that red-light cameras prevent accidents and save lives. And even though positive outcomes in districts represented by other House Republicans rebut Corcoran's Chicken Little assertions. Rep. Bryan Nelson noted traffic tickets at a busy intersection in his hometown Apopka have plunged from nearly 300 last August to 18 within five months. As Nelson put it: "Folks, that's safety." That's right. The Insurance Institute's analysis found red-light cameras reduced the per-capita rate of deadly red-light-running crashes by 24 percent. Yet, some lawmakers prefer to champion flawed ideology over public safety. Rep. Chris Dorworth of Lake Mary - continuing to prove he's unfit to become House speaker in 2014 - insisted the cameras promote "a nanny state." He says he supports personal responsibility and limited government. If public safety is no longer the purview of government, what is? "The chief purpose of government is to protect life. Abandon that and you have abandoned all." So said Thomas Jefferson. Dorworth's nonsensical comments - "You know what, you can always be safer" - suggest he hasn't any abandonment issues. But as Rep. Eddy Gonzalez noted, now isn't the time to abandon red-light cameras: "I believe in my heart that we're saving lives." Fortunately, Haridopolos has more to lean on than heartfelt suppositions. There are studies. Statistics. And the lives that are obscured in the numbers. One-hundred-fifty nine. That's how many lives red-light cameras saved in the Insurance Institute analysis. And had the devices stood sentry in all large cities, some 815 people might be alive today. What better way for an aspiring U.S. senator to show leadership now than to ensure government honors its first responsibility: protecting the people. 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.