Reporter: Mike Springer Email
By: Mike Springer March 1, 2013
Tallahassee, FL-Some drivers might view red light cameras as the enemy. But a new bill moving through the Florida Senate might make them less of a threat.
Under a bill proposed by Democratic State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, the burden of guilt would be on the city or county to prove.
And if the person ticketed requests a hearing, then the city or county would be required to produce a witness.
The bill is designed to make it harder to convict people of red light camera violations.
“People should have the right to protest the ticket if they think they’re not guilty of it,” said driver, Jackie Belle.
The City of Tallahassee has been using red light cameras for about two and a half years.
It has about 20 cameras up at seven different intersections. City Officials say the cameras make the roads safer.
“Crashes are down 22 percent, so they’ve been effective in what we want to do in Tallahassee,” said Michelle Bono, a spokeswoman for the City of Tallahassee.
While the City says the proposed bill won’t heavily impact the way it handles right light violations, the City says it could take the cameras down if the number of crashes continues to drop.
“If we reach the point where there’s not enough violations to pay for the costs of the program, no tax dollars will go into because the vendor has to agree to cover those costs,” said Bono.
If passed the bill would take effect July 1.