Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Use of cameras to catch red-light runners inches closer to approval in Florida House vote

TALLAHASSEE — A bill approving the use of surveillance cameras targeting red-light runners moved closer to final approval after it was green-lighted in the House on Monday.

The proposal by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, passed 101-7. It would allow cities and counties to place the cameras on state-owned property and would set up statewide fines and rules for their use.

About 30 Florida governments have agreed to use the devices to ticket by remote control. But state law bars the placement of the cameras on state-owned property, so municipalities have steered around the ban by placing them on locally owned property or on private land.

A similar proposal is expected for a vote in the Senate this week.

Privacy concerns have stalled perennial efforts to lift the state's red-light camera prohibition. But supporters say the proliferation of the devices has propelled the need for uniform camera rules.

Another selling point: money. Both the Senate and the House proposals funnel a portion of the $150 fine into the state's general revenue pot. Another chunk of the money goes into a Department of Health trust fund for use by Florida trauma centers, public hospitals and Medicaid-eligible nursing homes that serve victims of traumatic brain injuries.

Under both proposals, local governments would get 60 percent of the money if the cameras are on a city or county road.

But with the Senate plan, if the devices are watching a state road, local governments wouldn't get any money.

Sen. Thad Altman, the bill's Senate sponsor, said last week that the Senate is still working out some of the details of the proposal.

More than 110 municipalities in 20 states have cameras focused on red light runners, and in cities like Pembroke Pines, where the cameras are already rolling, they've been used to spot hundreds of violators.

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis said he is happy the bill appears to be on the verge of passing but said he does not support provisions that would deny municipalities revenue from tickets issued within their borders.

Breanne Gilpatrick can be reached at

Use of cameras to catch red-light runners inches closer to approval in Florida House vote 04/27/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 27, 2009 7:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Romano: Sewage is the issue in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the Pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    During the St. Petersburg sewage crisis, the city's ancient sewer system released about 200 million gallons of sewage into local watersways, spurring state and federal investigations and becoming a focal point of debate among the leading mayoral candidates. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.

  3. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County


    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

    Dale Collins, 63, faces a charge of luring or enticing a child under the age of 12. [Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Scaramucci on leaks: 'I'm going to fire everybody'


    WASHINGTON — Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump's new communications director, vowed Tuesday to purge the White House staff of disloyal aides in an effort to crack down on leaks, as another member of the press staff resigned from a West Wing reeling from an unfolding shake-up.

  5. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts


    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.