Traffic

Miami-Dade Adding 150 Red-Light Cameras

Two bills to prohibit red-light traffic cameras failed to pass Florida's legislature this spring. And now Miami-Dade officials have taken the initiative to place an additional 150 cameras at intersections throughout the county.

See also: Rick Scott Signs Bill To Make Red-Light Cameras Slightly Less Bogus

The Miami-Dade County Department of Procurement Management and a selection committee are now reviewing applications from five companies vying to provide the red-light cameras. The committee will recommend its top pick to the county commission, which will vote on a vendor in November.

"The County received five proposals to its solicitation for a red-light camera program," said Miriam Singer, assistant director for the Internal Services Department. "Those proposals are under review and evaluation. The county's program is to be deployed in phases, with the initial implementation of 50 cameras. Additional cameras will be added in increments of up to 50 cameras, to a total of 150 cameras."

Proponents of the cameras cite research from the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPGA), which shows that the number of fatal car crashes has fallen almost 50 percent at intersections where the cameras were installed. Hundreds of Floridians die each year because of red-light runners.

Stop On Red Florida, an organization founded by Melissa Wandall, who lost her husband Mark to a red-light runner in 2003, supports intersection safety cameras. The organization believes the technology has played a significant role in decreasing the number of fatalities in Miami, which has some of the nation's deadliest intersections. According to the organization's website:

"Red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes; pedestrians and occupants in other vehicles account for about half of the deaths in red-light running crashes... Most communities will experience a reduction in red-light running violations ranging from 20-87% [by installing safety cameras], within about an eighteen month time frame of when an Intersection Safety Camera program is implemented."

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Jonathan Kendall is a former editor at Big Think. He studied journalism at Harvard and is a contributing writer for Miami New Times as well as for Vogue, Cultured, Los Angeles Review of Books, Smithsonian, and Atlas Obscura.
Contact: Jonathan Kendall

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