NORTHEAST, Fla. - The Florida legislature is taking a serious look at banning all red light cameras across the state, and two of your local representatives from Northeast Florida are offering their early perspectives.
“I’ve been consistent for as long as I’ve been in the Florida House as opposing the red light cameras,” says Representative Janet Adkins. She’s a Republican who represents Nassau County and part of Duval County.
She tells WOKV that while she is concerned for public safety, the cameras are an overbearing intrusion.
“They lend themselves to kind of the gotcha type of government,” she says.
Adkins says she knows one person who lent his car to a family member who then ran a red light. The ticket showed up in his mailbox with his name on it.
“I also think that it’s incumbent on government to make sure that we are actually finding the appropriate people – the people who are actually responsible for running the red light – not simply just the owner of the car.”
She says there are other ways to get unsafe drivers off the road, such as calling the cops and telling them about someone driving unsafely.
“I would support, of course, lengthening the yellow light,” Adkins says.
State Senator John Thrasher - the Republican who represents St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties – tells WOKV he understands the arguments that Adkins and others are making.
But he also says he’s listening to the other side of the arguments – the public safety side.
“Some of our law enforcements folks believe that it actually is making a difference in traffic safety and saving lives,” Thrasher says.
Until the legislative sessions in March, he says he’s going to listen to all the facts, and not so much the emotion of the issue.
“That’s the right role of the legislature at this point.”
Right now, he says he’s not sure of an outright repeal, at least until they get more information on the impact the red light cameras are having in the state of Florida. He says lawmakers need to ask if the cameras are helping public safety or not.
“That’s the whole goal of the red light cameras,” he says.
Previously, WOKV spoke with State Senator Aaron Bean and State Senator Audrey Gibson on this issue. Click the link on the left to read about where they stand.