In August, we posted “Red Light Cameras: A Violation of Florida Law?” where we discussed the city of Pembroke Pines and its decision to install red light cameras at intersections. As we stated in the post, more and more cities in South Florida will be following the trend which many feel will prevent auto accidents.
This week, CBS 12 News in West Palm Beach reported that city officials decided that red light cameras will be used to encourage safe driving and monitor the streets. Currently, there is a 90-day probation period where only a warning will be issued to drivers. After that, drivers will receive a $125 fine in the mail, which officials say the money will go towards traffic programs. The civil infraction will not add points to your license.
Much like in Pembroke Pines, there are drivers are on both sides of this issue. Peter Robbins, a public information officer with West Palm Beach, stated that accidents involving red light-running are the number one types of accidents in urban areas, and that studies show that the cameras help prevent those accidents.
Other drivers, however, see the cameras as an invasion of their privacy. They also question the legality of the cameras, saying that they are a violation of their constitutional rights and merely a way for cities to raise money. In “Red Light Cameras,” we discussed how traffic laws in Florida must be uniform across the state, that variations violate state law, and the legal concerns our governor had about using red light cameras. We also discussed how cities are getting around those concerns. Be that as it may, city officials, who are aware of the likelihood of a class action lawsuit, feel that the red light cameras will stand.