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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Red light camera opponents find questionable champion in Rep. Campbell

8

February

Opponents for red light cameras could have found a better advocate for their cause than Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami.

On Thursday, Campbell’s HB 4011  outlawing red light cameras will be heard at the House’s Economic Affairs Committee at 9 a.m. 

What’s the matter with Campbell sponsoring a bill that many Floridians would cheer?

A Honda minivan registered to her husband, Hubert, has five red light camera violations, according to records obtained by the Times/Herald from American Traffic Solutions, or ATS, a Scottsdale, AZ vendor that provides the cameras for most cities and counties that use them in Florida. Because of a lawsuit won by the Times/Herald, ATS must make tickets public record.

Two of the tickets, a May 10, 2010 violation in North Miami and a July 16, 2010 violation in Hallendale Beach, remain uncollected. A ticket costs $158. If unpaid, a traffic citation is issued and may result in the termination of the vehicle registration and suspension of the owner’s driver’s license.

ATS provided a photo of the Honda Odyssey minivan at one of the violations. It has a Campbell campaign sticker on it.

Two videos show the minivan making reckless turns on red, one left and the other right.

When reached Friday night, Campbell explained she was filing the bill for her constituents.

“My constituents complained and the people are hurting,” Campbell said. “I promised them when I went to Tallahassee that I would repeal the red light cameras.”

But asked about the five tickets, Campbell said she didn’t know about them. Or at least four of them. She said she did know about a ticket she received in the mail for an Oct. 22 Miami Gardens violation.

But she said she had no clue about the others.

“Something is definitely wrong,” Campbell said. “You are the one who just told me about it. This is news to me.”

Despite the video footage of the minivan blowing through the red lights, Campbell wasn’t buying it.

“It’s a lie,” she said. “That camera is a made up story. You can do anything with the computer now.”

ATS spokesman Charles Territo said it was unlikely Campbell wouldn’t have gotten notice of the tickets, and he vouched for the accuracy of his company’s records and the photographic evidence. 

“I don’t know how she wouldn’t know, unless her husband didn’t tell her,” Territo said. “Someone there knows about them because three have been paid.”

[Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 7:32pm]

    

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