Reader Mail: Florida Needs to Ban Red-Light Cameras
Outrageous abuse: Good for Bob Sherin, the "non-lawyer" exposing the "racketeering" of red-light cameras ("Seeing Red," Michael E. Miller, July 26). If this becomes a class-action lawsuit, I would love to add my two cents. It is a completely unfair and unreliable system to ticket people through a camera.
Privacy broken: Photo enforcement has never stopped unsafe driving. It has been proven that these systems are dangerous and actually increase accidents in areas where they are deployed. How can blinding and distracting drivers with a searing camera flash improve anyone's "safety"? Instead of increasing the yellow-light timing cycles at intersections, cities can mount cameras and profit from you instead. Your personal information is being recorded 24/7 and stored by private companies whether an infraction has occurred or not.
All about the money: Are there really any people in Florida who still think red-light camera cash registers are about safety and not about money? Cities in Florida don't give a crap about safety as long as thousands or millions of dollars keep rolling in. The state loves the programs because it gets to rip off 52.5 percent of the money-grab revenue, with no responsibility to pay any part of the costs of the cameras.
The only real solution is a statewide ban on cameras, but bills to do this in Florida have failed twice due to heavy lobbying by the camera companies and the cities that want the revenue. A bill to mandate longer yellows failed for the same reason.
We should go after the Florida Department of Transportation for its deliberate, and possibly dangerous, change to the rules issued on yellow-light timing in July 2011. Before then, yellows were to be timed for the posted speed limit or the 85th percentile speed of approaching traffic, whichever is greater. In July 2011, the "whichever is greater" was removed — thus allowing, or even encouraging, cities to time yellows for the posted limits. This makes the yellows up to about one second too short. This deliberate change by the DOT has drastically increased the use and profitability of red-light cameras.
If the yellows were timed for maximum safety and minimum violations and cities did not illegally ticket safe, slow-rolling right turns on red lights, the entire fraud of the red-light camera industry would collapse. Only by ticketing mostly safe drivers can the red-light camera industry survive in Florida, or anywhere else.
Citizens need to repeatedly contact their state and local officials to demand an end to the predatory red-light camera programs and vote out all the camera supporters. Replace these officials with those who favor safety ahead of camera revenue. We need to attack the fraud on all fronts until these cameras are banned forever.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association
Fraud central: How much fraud can courts be allowed to commit? We need to take apart the corrupt legal system, down to its smallest nuts and bolts. What police department or judge can answer these questions without giving up the entire scam of the legal system? If we can expose their crimes, we'll no longer be victims.
Pro Sports Power
Criminal behavior: The fact that the Marlins' and the Dolphins' owners are contributing tens of thousands of dollars to the politicians who give them sweetheart stadium deals is complete BS ("PAC Attack," Francisco Alvarado, July 26). The Marlins lie about their finances, claim they can't pay for a stadium, but then give thousands to politicians. How is that not a crime? The ax needs to fall on these local politicians too. Where is the Punisher when you need him?
Stop giving out cash: In joint ventures with big private enterprises, taxpayers always get screwed. Just look at the Miami Heat, the Miami Marlins, Jungle Island, the new Miami Art Museum, the tunnel to nowhere, the Adrienne Arsht Center, and on and on.
Martinez for Mayor
Six of one, half a dozen of the other: What the hell does it matter that Uncle Luke thinks we should vote for Joe Martinez ("Luke's Gospel: Forget Carlos Gimenez and Audrey Edmonson," Luther Campbell, July 26)? It's Cuban-American Republican Number One vs. Cuban-American Republican Number Two. Miami's mayoral races are like Boston in the '70 and '80s with the Kennedys: There's no other choice.
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