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Are red light cameras a 'scam' as Marco Rubio says?

Serious news about U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign nearly screeched to a halt amid a New York Times blog post about his four traffic violations over 18 years.

The June 5 report noted that Rubio’s wife Jeanette had 13 tickets. His violations included careless driving, speeding, running a stop sign (which was later dismissed) and running a red light, caught by a traffic camera.

On Twitter, readers lampooned the New York Times with the #RubioCrimeSpree hashtag. "Marco once picked all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms box," said one post, while others riffed, "BREAKING: Marco Rubio once ripped a tag from a mattress" and "Opens his eyes when he plays Marco Polo."

The next day in Iowa, Rubio told MSNBC: "Let me just say, I really don’t like red-light cameras. That’s a big scam. But that’s another topic for another day."

Why not today?

We’ve actually had cause to fact-check claims about red-light cameras. Whether or not they’re a "scam" -- defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as "a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people" -- is a matter of opinion. But we do think the evidence about their effectiveness is worth a review.

Rubio received a violation for running a red-light in his home city of West Miami in November 2011. Miami-Dade court records show the state sent Rubio a letter warning him that his license would be suspended if the matter wasn’t addressed. Rubio’s attorney paid the fee, his license was not suspended, and the case dismissed in March 2012.

Turn to PolitiFact Florida to see what we found about red light cameras. 

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