Red light camera ban bill (HB 6003) speeds through Florida House committee

Efforts to get rid of red light cameras in Florida got another boost Wednesday when a bill introduced by Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini sailed through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.

Sabatini’s House Bill 6003 is similar to measures introduced in the past several Florida Legislative Sessions, bills that usually won approval in the House but died in the Senate.

With opposition stated from the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Police Chiefs Association the bill was approved 12-1 by the subcommittee of the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday. Democratic U.S. Rep. Fentrice Driskell of Tampa voted no.

Sabatini, a freshman from Howie-in-the-Hills, argued that since they were introduced in Florida in 2010, red light cameras have not brought about a decrease in traffic crashes in Florida, have not provided any deterrence, and have turned into cash cows for municipalities and the private companies that operate them on cities’ and counties’ behalf.

He cited Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles data to show that there has been, in his words, a “massive uptick” in the amount of all types of traffic crashes in Florida since 2010. And he cited data that showed an increase in tickets going to drivers for second offenses, which he said means the first tickets did not change behaviors, so are not a deterrence.