I’ve seen several articles pop up recently pertaining to the red light cameras which are all around northeast Florida. My sister got dinged by one and she was quite surprised how quickly the light went from green to yellow to red. I wonder if Rep. McBurney’s law passes if she would have been found to have run a red light.
Channel 4 reports that Representative Charles McBurney is sponsoring a bill which will bring fairness to red-light ticket enforcement on our roadways. The bill would make the time that a yellow light turns to red the same at all intersections with red-light cameras.
How great would it be to know the exact time it will take to drive through a red-light camera intersection before the light changes. That is Rep. McBurney’s goal. “Safety is No. 1 and fairness is No. 2,” said McBurney. McBurney says the idea came to him after hearing reports that some cities were shaving off time from that yellow light before it turns red to increase the number of tickets — and revenue.
Research done in the Tampa area found that a half-second reduction in the time of a yellow light doubled the number of red-light citations issued. “The primary purpose actually, overall should be for safety. Not to raise revenue on local governments,” said McBurney.
Channel Four investigators went to various red-light camera intersections in Duval and Clay counties to put those yellow lights to the test. While the majority of them gave drivers about 5 seconds, the light on Kingsley Avenue at U.S. 17 in Orange Park turned from green to yellow to red in just 3 seconds — likely because that street has a lower posted speed limit.
There are now 24 red-light cameras at 17 Duval County intersections, and a few more in Orange Park and Green Cove Springs. As of mid-October, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported more than 16,000 citations were generated by red-light cameras in Duval County. Channel 4 has asked for updated numbers, and the JSO said they should be ready in a few days.
McBurney says the bill will likely be assigned to a committee in the next week or two. He hopes it’ll be heard next month, just in time for legislative session to begin in March.
Related Stories: A faulty traffic light the reason for the fatal crash in Lake City? & Hit-and-Run Crashes are on the rise in Northeast Florida.
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