BY BUDDY NEVINS
Channel 6-NBC Miami proved tonight that elected officials who support red light cameras are hypocrites.
The report by Willard Shepard featured the red light camera Pembroke Pines has installed westbound at Pembroke Road and SW 129th Avenue. This is at the southern entrance of Century Village.
I want to see any official claim how these particular Pembroke Pines cameras are being used as a safety measure. Their nose is growing.
Century Village residents are ticketed if they don’t come to a full stop while turning right on red. Note: It is almost impossible to get in an accident at the intersection when turning right on red since there is no oncoming traffic, according to the TV report.
Pembroke Pines officials were spinning when they voted for red light cameras and said it was to prevent accident.
So is every other official in every other city.
Running a red light is not the overwhelming cause of accidents that supporters would have you believe. Neither is turning right on red without coming to a complete stop.
A contributing factor for about 2.85 percent of all accidents statewide in 2009 was disregarding a traffic signal. Compare that with alcohol, which is involved in 19 percent of all accidents. Or speeding, which contributes to 12 percent of the accidents. Or failing to yield, contributing to 10 percent.
The state says that a vast majority of the accidents take place between noon and 6 p.m., with the highest risk between 4 and 6 p.m. I think it would be a bigger deterrent to put police at dangerous intersections during those hours.
Another deterrent would be stricter enforcement of seat belt laws. Traffic deaths and injuries could be cut 50 percent if everybody wore one, according to the state.
But it is so much more lucrative to slap a major new charge on drivers.
American Traffic Solutions, who installed the cameras, gets $75 of each ticket. Pembroke Pines gets another $75 and the state gets $83.
In addition, American Traffic Solutions get $4,750 per month for each camera. That fee is waved if the camera doesn’t generate enough tickets to cover it.
This is a major handout to special interests in this case American Traffic Solutions and its ilk. This is a new, ridiculous high fee on drivers with money added in to enrich a private out-of-state corporation.
Just check out how many lobbyists the company has in Tallahassee to protect those high ticket fees. These lobbyists are attempting to block a bill that would outlaw the insidious devices, including members of the firm of Hollywood-based firm Becker & Poliakoff.:
American Traffic Solutions, Inc
- George Oscar Anderson
- Louis G. Betz
- Electra Bustle
- Edgar O. Castro
- Nelson D. Diaz
- Christopher F. Dudley
- Chris L. Floyd
- Towson Fraser
- Cynthia A. Henderson
- Nicholas V. Iarossi
- Yolanda Cash Jackson
- Ronald C. LaFace, Jr.
- Cedric A. McMinn
- Matthew R. Montgomery
Now you know why they need that $4,750 per camera.
One solution would be to contest every ticket. Go to court and cost the city the money it would have made. The cameras would soon be prove to be uneconomical and would be removed…which is a good thing.