Red-Light Cameras Capture Highlight Reel of Florida Car Crashes

Categories: Transportation
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Place a few all-watching eyes at intersections throughout South Florida and reckless driving takes on a whole new meaning.

American Traffic Solutions -- the Big Brotheresque company that operates about a dozen red-light cameras in Broward and another 26 in Miami-Dade -- scoured its footage for the best accidents and close calls in Florida for 2011. The results, as expected from the deadliest state in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists, are impressive.

While nowhere near as disturbing as the Florida Department of Transportation's collection of pedestrians getting crushed by oncoming traffic, the highlight reel has a few gems, including an RV plowing through a Lakeland intersection and a sedan T-boning a fire truck in Miami.

The cameras continue to be a legal headache, with drivers continually challenging the tickets and some lawmakers looking to cancel contracts with ATS.

As invasive as the cameras are, they do seem to be working at some intersections. Pembroke Pines, according to ATS, has seen a 46 percent drop in collisions at the intersection of 129th Avenue and Pines Boulevard.

Love 'em or hate 'em, one thing is for sure: The cameras are a gold mine of YouTube footage.

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DiegoHenry
DiegoHenry

Cameras give a false sense of security, because even withhigh fines (example: $500 in California) they don't stop the real late runners- like in this video of accidents the cameras didn't prevent!

Most real late runners don't do it on purpose - they failto see the signal, because they are lost, unfamiliar with the area, distracted,or impaired. To stop the late runners, local traffic engineers need to makehigh-accident intersections more obvious, improve the visual cues that say,"You are coming to an important intersection." Florida's DOT foundthat improved pavement markings (plain old paint!) cut running by up to 74%,without installing cameras - thus without the side effect of increasedrearenders. Also make the signal lights brighter, bigger in diameter, addbackboards to them, and place the poles on the NEAR side of the intersection,not so far away. Put brighter bulbs in the street lights at intersections. Putup lighted name signs, for the cross streets.

Longer yellows (which drop violations by 2/3, and theeffect is permanent) and improved visual cues are easy and cheap to do, so canbe done all over town, unlike cameras, which are expensive and can drive shopper and tourists away.

Bejesus
Bejesus

To think that people complain about these cameras yet only get a ticket with no points on their license and do not have to deal with an encounter from the all to often corrupt police in South Florida is absurd. I see people intentionally run red lights on a weekly basis and quite frankly I would be giddy if I knew they received tickets for such offenses.

Joe
Joe

What about the one who DO STOP on red and get a ticket anyway?

FQS9000
FQS9000

Morons on tape.  It makes it oh so hard to claim the other guy did it.  I sincerely wish that each of those fools got at least a month in jail for their utter lack of regard for the other people on the road.  10 lashes would be even better. 

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