Florida lawmakers put brakes on red light cameras

Florida lawmakers put brakes on red light cameras

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

The bill banning red light cameras in the state of Florida cleared it's first hurdle.

If it passes, S.B. 4011 would make it illegal for municipalities in Florida to have red lights and to charge you for a ticket if you're caught on camera. The measure initially passed on Thursday with a narrow 10 to 8 vote by members of the state House Economic Affairs Committee.

Supporters of the repeal said the cameras invade privacy and pump money into local and state coffers.

"I don't think they deter people from getting tickets or stopping any more accidents," said Marquis Streater, who is for the repeal of the law. "So if it's just something to get revenue and have people pay money."

In Florida, for every $158 ticket, the state gets $83. Last year, that money added up to $51-million.

Some Florida residents said it's money well spent.

"I think it's a good thing for the families who need the assistance," said resident Sandra McGarry. "If there's like a robbery or a child comes up missing."

Opponents, such as Rep. Mike Clelland, D-Lake Mary, also added the real issue is safety. The former firefighter said he's seen countless injuries occur from motorists running red lights.

"We had severe injuries-- paraplegic injuries and people who died," said Rep. Clelland. "I think red light cameras do save lives by changing people's behavior as it relates to red lights."

 This isn't the first time state lawmakers have tried to repeal the laws surrounding red light cameras.  At least three bills have failed in the last three years.

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