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On red light cameras, House R's diverge

Republicans in the House are lockstep on many issues, but it seems red light cameras aren't in that mix.

Rep. Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, wants to ban (via HB 1235) red light cameras as intersection traffic enforcement tools. But Pro Tempore Ron Reagan has competing legislation (HB 325) that would expand the use of red light cameras and create a more uniform system of enforcement and penalties.

Red light cameras have long been hotly debated, with lots of back and forth about whether they are an effective deterrent, whether they represent "too much government," etc.

Reagan held a press conference with the widow of Mark Wandall, who was killed in 2003 by a driver who ran a red light, urging passage of his bill.

"This is about public safety," Reagan said. "This is about giving our law enforcement an additional tool to save lives. Cameras are here already, and they are here to stay. This bill will establish a uniform standard throughout the state."

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Michael Williams

To all Florida Senators and members of the House! Thank you Robert Schenck for seeing that this is for revenue only and is illegal in Florida! Say no to S0294, H0325 (Mark Wandall), S2166, S2712, and yes to H1235 (Schenck) Relating to Uniform Traffic Control Laws in Florida, as it is time to put an end to this illegal madness!

Florida Governor Charlie Christ, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, and more recently, Judge Bagley in Miami-Dade County Florida, recently ruled that the red light camera program violates Florida state law, thus we as citizens need to stand up and make our voices heard to our state legislature, and urge them make all red light cameras illegal in Florida since they are a violation of not only Florida Statutes, but the Constitution of the United States as well.

Under Florida Statutes Chapter 316, which is the "Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law."
Section 316.002, 316.007 and 316.008, as well as our Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of the United States Constitution state that these red light cameras are illegal.

Pursuant to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution which states in part: that I can’t be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Therefore, these red light cameras also consider me guilty until proven innocent, which is also illegal in this country.

Pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which in part states the following: "that all citizens have the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him" Thus, these red light cameras are also illegal due to the fact that all citizens of the United States have the right to face their accuser in court. With these cameras, we are denied due process of law as the right to face ones accuser is denied, thus they are illegal!

The Florida department of Transportation (FDOT) in a letter dated, 8/28/2007, has deemed these red light cameras are illegal in the state of Florida. Governor Charlie Christ, in a letter dated 7/15/2005 has also deemed them to be illegal as well as Attorney General Bill McCollum and more recently, Judge Bagley in Miami-Dade County Florida who has recently ruled they are illegal. In addition, there is no way to verify who was actually driving the vehicle.

Studies done by the University of South Florida, and the National Motorists Association, as well as many other studies show red light cameras actually do more harm than good.

In closing, only the state legislature can pass traffic laws, and if it really is a safety issue, right turns should altogether be made illegal when a light is red. I also have no problem whatsoever with stopping citizens from breaking the law, but every American’s rights must be preserved in the process. Breaking the law to "enforce" the law, and hiding the real motive has nothing to do with safety.

Michael Williams

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