The city of Pembroke Pines is looking to restart a scaled-down version of its red-light camera program. While many other South Florida cities including Boca Raton have since suspended their red-light camera programs in light of numerous pending lawsuits regarding the process in which traffic violations are issued, Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo has been leading the charge for the city to return to the program. The city has had a majority of its cameras turned off since 2013 due to budget constraints and is looking to return to form.
According to Castillo, the city of Pembroke Pines is “taking a strong step forward to protect residents and visitors,” adding that opposition to the cameras accounts for no more than “selfish complaints of those who mostly just want to go through red lights as they please.”
The controversy surrounding the cameras revolves around the way violations are issued. Cities have used out-of-state third-party agencies to screen videos of possible violations before being sent to local police. Under Florida state law, traffic citations may only be issued by law enforcement officials. If the lawsuit is upheld, tens of millions of dollars in fines issued to motorists from red-light cameras from July 2010 to October 2014 could be refunded.
Do Red Light Cameras Prevent Auto Accidents?
The effect of red light cameras on accident rates is still up for debate, as different sources have different conclusions. According to a 2011 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), cities with red-light cameras saw a 24 percent reduction in fatal crashes caused by running red lights over cities without cameras. Despite these numbers, the number of drivers running red lights has stayed relatively the same. From 2011 to 2012, roughly 1 million red light camera tickets were issued in Florida. From 2014 to 2015, this number dropped only slightly to 963,000.
Data collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) indicates that the introduction of red-light cameras may have actually made crash rates worse in certain areas. The year after cameras were installed in Boynton Beach and Sunrise, each area saw a 205% increase and an 85% increase in crashes, respectively.
If you have been injured in a car accident at an intersection with a red light camera, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for your suffering. At Willis Law, P.A., our highly trained Boca Raton car accident lawyers have fought for the rights of injured clients for more than 20 years and can help you fight for every penny of your entitled compensation.