1/4/2019Latest Florida Report Shows No Red Light Camera Benefit
Accidents of all types increased at red light camera intersections in Florida according to state government report.
After a decade of red light camera use in Florida, officials remain unable to find evidence that the devices have been effective in reducing traffic accidents. A report released Thursday by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles concluded that the total number of accidents at photo enforced intersections increased 15.1 percent across 31 jurisdictions studied between January 2013 and April 2018. Over the same period, however, the number of vehicle miles traveled across Florida increased 14.7 percent.
"The probability of a crash occurring increases as people drive more," the report noted.
Following a trend seen nationwide, local governments in Florida are rapidly abandoning red light cameras. Five cities dumped automated enforcement last year, leaving 49 jurisdictions with photo ticketing programs -- down from the 75 Florida cities that had them in 2013.
The decline matches the experience of California, where more than half the cities that tried camera enforcement no longer use it. With the photo revenue drying up in the Golden State, Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia has reported $81 million in losses. Redflex only operates cameras in seven Florida towns, so the brunt of the drop in the Sunshine State automated ticketing has been absorbed by American Traffic Solutions (ATS, now Verra Mobility), which issues red light camera tickets in 36 Florida towns.
Florida officials sent surveys to the remaining jurisdictions and found some that were open about their motivation for sticking with the devices. Six localities said they judged the cameras' success or failure by the amount of revenue generated. Despite a 45 percent decline in the number of cameras in operation, the number of tickets issued rose from 963,039 in 2014 to 1,159,392 in 2018 -- worth $183,183,936.
The state report offered nine recommendations that urged lawmakers to force localities to bolster the quality of their traffic safety data so that officials can more accurately assess the effects of automated ticketing. Cities like Orange Park still submit accident data to the state on paper forms instead of submitting the information electronically.
The cities that have dropped red light cameras include: Apopka, Boca Raton, Bradenton, Brooksville, Campbellton, Casselberry, Clermont, Clewiston, Collier County, Coral Springs, Cutler Bay, Daytona Beach, Doral, Dunnellon, Duval County (Jacksonville), El Portal, Groveland, Gulfport, Haines City, Hallandale Beach, Hialeah Gardens, Holly Hill, Hollywood, Homestead, Juno Beach, Kenneth City, Margate, Miami, Miami-Dade County, North Bay Village, Opa-locka, Oldsmar, Palm Coast, Palatka, Palm Springs, Pembroke Pines, South Pasadena, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Temple Terrace and West Palm Beach.
A copy of the report is available in a 1mb PDF file at the source link below.