Florida embraces red-light cameras

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05/05/2010
A story in Hernando Today piqued my interest when I first saw it, as it implied that a new law in Florida allowing the use of red-light cameras (or, rather, "traffic infraction detectors") would be supplying a portion of every ticket issued to the company that installed the camera or the manufacturer. Talk about recurring revenue! It reads:
TALLAHASSEE - Florida House members approved a measure that would allow for red light cameras throughout the state, with revenue from ticketing drivers going to the red light camera companies, the state and the municipality where the violation occurred.
However, when the bill eventually passed April 30, it looks like that piece was either stripped out or amended when the bill got to the Senate. Read the full text of HB 325 here (it downloads a pdf). In fact, it's pretty clear that the per-ticket fee ain't gonna happen:
providing that an individual may not receive a commission or per-ticket fee from any revenue collected from violations detected through the use of a traffic infraction detector and a manufacturer or vendor may not receive a fee or remuneration based upon the number of violations detected through the use of a traffic infraction detector
Still, there's revenue to be had in the installation and sale of the cameras, assuming it's not a direct sale from the manufacturer. Though maybe not much revenue right off the bat. The bill only puts $100,000 toward a new program, and the individual municipalities may not have the revenue to install a new program. They're not exactly getting a huge cut of the tickets. The tickets would be $158 a whack (yikes!) and the money would be distributed as such: $100 to the Dept. of Revenue for the General Fund $10 to the Dept. of Revenue for Dept. of Health $3 to the Dept. of Revenue for deposit into the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund $45 to the municipality in which the violation occurred So, it's going to take a lot of red lights being run before the ROI on these cameras happen. But maybe people don't really pay attention to red lights in Florida - hard to say. Also, I guess you could argue that these cameras will take longer and longer to pay for themselves as people realize they'll be busted for running red lights and do so less and less frequently. Still, it might be something to look into.

Comments

As someone that has seen the flash of the camera ( I swear it was Yellow), I will definitely be more cautious NOT to contribute to this annuity....

In the Netherlands have "red-light" cameras a total different meaning. Which makes the heading of the article a bit funny.....