Through its Executive Committee, the Libertarian Party of Florida has voted to support future legislation to ban the use of red light cameras within the State of Florida.
The cameras have been popping up in various communities throughout the state as local government coffers dry up. Recent support for the cameras by local governments seems to correlate to the reduction of regular tax revenues.
The Libertarian Party of Florida has successfully lobbied the state legislature in past years to keep the state from approving their use and now seeks an all-out ban of the devices which create more problems then they solve.
Some people are under the misguided idea the cameras will reduce accidents at intersections. However the data shows a completely different picture. In only a handful of anecdotal situations have the cameras helped while the overwhelming evidence clearly shows installation of the cameras make intersections less safe by creating more accidents, thereby using more rescue and police services.
In 2010 the Florida legislature passed and Governor Crist signed HB 325 “Uniform Traffic Control” into law which will benefit Goldman Sachs financially and put more Floridians in the hospital. There is a reason AAA, the Libertarian Party of Florida, the National Motorists Association and many individuals vigorously attempted to block this poorly drafted legislation. However it was passed nonetheless.
The Goldman Sachs connection is in relation to the 30%+ stake it has in American Traffic Solutions. ATS and Redflex Systems will get most of the Florida contracts.
The Libertarian Party of Florida does not condone running red lights but it is clear the installation of these cameras greatly increase the chances more Floridians will be sent to the hospital with debilitating injuries. Many studies on this phenomenon have been conducted over decades and they tend to come to the same conclusion – a dramatic increase in accidents where the cameras have been installed. Increasing the yellow light change by one second dramatically reduces accidents, having a one second time sequence from red to green cross traffic dramatically decreases accidents and governments (in an attempt to raise revenue) have been found guilty of reducing the yellow signal time.
Red light cameras have been banned in Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Minnesota. Some have been banned due to the safety issue, others due to a state supreme court finding them illegal and unconstitutional.
Minneapolis, Minnesota is actually suing Redflex Traffic Systems for $3 million due to the refunds it has made to Minnesotans after their Supreme Court ruled the cameras illegal.
In Washington, DC, after sifting through its data and finding the cameras increased accidents, it continued the program anyway due to the revenue it brought in. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/03/AR2005100301844.html
The Virginia Department of Transportation conducted a study and subsequently followed it up two years later to confirm the cameras increased accidents at intersections with the cameras.
The Libertarian Party of Florida encourages its membership and all Floridians to openly oppose red light cameras, and to fight citations they may receive through the court system. The LPF will also continue in its efforts to officially ban the use of red light cameras in the State of Florida.
Libertarian Party of Florida chair, Vicki Kirkland said yesterday, “After an exhaustive study of this issue I thoroughly endorse the banning of Red Light Cameras in the State of Florida.”