[tabi] info on red-light cameras bill, and proof of their effect on safety

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 08:15:15 -0400

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
devices at intersections. This year, Rep. Richard Corcoran rolled out
House Bill 4087
 to rescind that thumbs up. Disappointingly, lawmakers bought the New Port
Republican's misleading spiel about red-light cameras causing more accidents
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
Given the Senate bill's inertia and a fast-approaching Friday legislative
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
sees the Senate floor.
All along, Corcoran has insisted that the cameras boost crash rates and
produce ticketing
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
rebut Corcoran's Chicken Little assertions. Rep. Bryan Nelson noted traffic
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
rate of deadly red-light-running crashes by 24 percent. Yet, some lawmakers
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
cameras promote "a nanny state." He says he supports personal responsibility
limited government.
If public safety is no longer the purview of government, what is? "The chief
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" -
he hasn't any abandonment issues.
But as Rep. Eddy Gonzalez noted, now isn't the time to abandon red-light
"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.
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
What better way for an aspiring U.S.
 senator to show leadership now than to ensure government honors its first
protecting the people.

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  • » [tabi] info on red-light cameras bill, and proof of their effect on safety - Allison and Chip Orange