Rep. Anthony Sabatini once again files bill to repeal red light cameras in Florida

Critics of cameras have long contended that the devices are primarily a way for local governments to raise revenues.

click to enlarge Rep. Anthony Sabatini once again files bill to repeal red light cameras in Florida
Photo via Adobe Images

The repeated effort to turn off red-light traffic cameras is back in the Florida House.

Howey-in-the-Hills Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini is again sponsoring a measure (HB 6009) that calls for a repeal of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Program law.

The 2010 law, named after a man killed by a motorist who ran a red light, authorized the use of red-light cameras throughout the state. Sabatini has previously said the law isn’t altering “bad” driving behavior and that it punishes “working-class” people with $158 tickets for “taking a right on red, failing to stop or just barely crossing the line when a camera is at an intersection.”

The repeal effort hit a dead end over the past two years, after approval by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee each year.

The House overwhelmingly approved a similar proposal in 2018 but, as in other years, the measure failed to move forward in the Senate.

The repeal effort has been opposed by the Florida League of Cities. A 2020 House staff analysis projected local governments could see a drop in revenue of around $75 million a year if the measure is ultimately approved.

Critics of cameras have long contended that the devices are primarily a way for local governments to raise revenues.

On Nov. 24, the Florida Supreme Court refused to take up a case about whether the South Florida city of Aventura’s red-light camera program violates state traffic laws. Motorist Lee Stein went to the Supreme Court in September after the 3rd District Court of Appeal backed Aventura in the dispute --- one of numerous legal fights in recent years about red-light cameras in the state. The non-action effectively let stand the 3rd District Court of Appeal decision. The case stemmed from Stein receiving a citation for failing to stop at a red light in 2014 and focused on guidelines used by Aventura in deciding whether to cite motorists based on camera images.

Aventura and other cities have different guidelines, leading Stein to argue, in part, that Aventura violated a state requirement of uniform traffic laws.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]