Red-Light Cameras Banned in Unincorporated Miami-Dade County

The backlash against red-light cameras continues. The Miami-Dade County Commission voted yesterday to rescind the county's power to install the cameras in unincorporated areas. That means you'll never see red-light cameras in places such as Kendall, Westchester, Brownsville, and the Redland. 

In 2011, the commission tentatively hopped onboard the red-light camera craze and voted to give the county power to install the equipment in unincorporated areas. The idea was that the devices would provide a steady stream of semiautomated revenue while, in theory at least, keeping streets safer. The county even got as far as putting out a procurement order for 150 red-light cameras in 2015.  

However, the county never installed any of those cameras — perhaps because of both popular and legal backlash against the devices. Judges have ruled against certain aspects of red-light camera programs in other municipalities. Efforts to ban the cameras throughout Florida have been introduced in the past few legislative sessions with bipartisan support, although a bill has not yet been passed. 

Indeed, the ordinance sponsored by Miami-Dade Commissioner Rebecca Sosa notes the uncertain legal future of red-light cameras. 

"The fact that recent legislative and judicial action had shifted certain responsibilities and costs of red light camera programs to law enforcement as opposed to vendors, a lack of a firm revenue model, and pending judicial rulings and legislation that may further alter or eliminate red light camera programs, the report recommended that the County not implement a red-light camera program," reads a portion of the legislation. 

The new rule, however, extends to unincorporated Miami-Dade only and has no impact on red-light cameras operated by cities and towns within the county. 

Miami-Dade is not the first local government to backtrack on the cameras. North Miami removed all of its red-light cameras last year