Every right-thinking American who's not a local municipal bean counter knows that red-light cameras are a total scam. Numerous studies have suggested they actually make intersections less safe, and last month a Tampa TV station even found proof that Florida had covertly changed the rules to allow shorter yellow-light times to snag more drivers.
Last night, Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation to make the lights slightly less criminal by forbidding cities from ticketing drivers making a right-hand turn on red. Let's be honest, though: The cameras are still a joke.
The new rules Scott signed are part of a 226-page highway safety bill. As part of the new law, drivers can no longer be cited for a right turn on a red light as long as they stop, even if they stop past the line, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
Scott also signed off on giving drivers 60 days to deal with a red-light ticket instead of the 30-day window most cities use.
The Florida Department of Transportation also announced this week that it's planning to lengthen yellow-light times. Tampa's WTSP found in May that the state had changed the formula used to calculate yellow-light time to give cities more leeway to shorten the times, presumably to catch more people rolling through reds.
All good changes. The cameras are still a blatant money-raising enterprise for cities that whip out tickets that are almost impossible for the average citizen to challenge.
A move by two Miami reps to ban the cameras altogether stalled in the House this year but is sure to be revived again next season.
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