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Traffic Light Cameras in Aventura Florida

July 23rd, 2008 · 1 Comment


Traffic light cameras are tools used by cities and states throughout the country in an attempt to increase road safety. The cameras take pictures of cars running a red light, making sure to capture the car’s license plate. Generally, the registered owner of the car is then sent a summons or ticket along with a copy of the photograph.

Traffic Light Cameras in Aventura

The City of Aventura recently began using traffic cameras at various intersections throughout the City. Under Florida law, a city government is not allowed to use traffic cameras as the basis for issuing a ticket to enforce the state’s traffic codes. For a ticket to be issued, Florida’s Uniform Traffic Code specifically requires that an officer “observes the commission of a traffic infraction”. A 2005 opinion issued from then Attorney General and current Governor, Charlie Crist, states that while the cameras may not be used to enforce state traffic codes, Florida cities can use the traffic cameras to enforce local city ordinances. Therefore, instead of receiving a ticket for running a red light, a violation of the state traffic code, an offender could receive a citation for not stopping behind the white line, which is a city ordinance violation. In the end, whether the violation is for a state or city ordinance, the result to the vehicle owner is the same, a fine ranging from $125 to $300.

The true value of these traffic light cameras has stirred some debate over the past few years. Research shows the use of traffic cameras leads to a reduction in the number of drivers running red lights and a reduction in certain types of car accidents, such as right angle collisions, in which a car drives through the intersection and slams into another car from the side. The research however, also shows that cameras lead drivers to more often slam on their brakes at the intersection in an attempt to avoid a fine, resulting in an increase in rear end collisions. A study by the Federal Highway Administration of accidents at intersections with red light traffic cameras revealed that there have been 14.9% more rear end collisions at these intersections than would have been expected had the cameras not been installed. The same study concluded that right angle accidents or “T-Bone Collisions” came in at 24.6% below projections. With a projected decrease in one type of accident and a projected increase in another, the study concluded that the use of cameras lead to no real changes in the total number of accidents and stated that the cameras provided at best “a modest aggregate crash-cost benefit”.

An unexpected criticism of traffic cameras is that sometimes the cameras are too effective in preventing drivers from running red lights. In some areas, such as Dallas, drivers were more careful not to run red lights at intersections with known cameras. This led to fewer tickets for violations and less revenue for the city. Eventually, Dallas was forced to turn off a certain number of their cameras as the revenue received from the cameras did not cover the costs of maintaining them.

Below is a link which was used in preparing this article.

Disclosure: Although this article provides legal information, it is not and should not be considered legal advice. This article has been provided solely as an educational tool to provide general insight into the law and is not intended as legal advice or a legal opinion. Because specific factual circumstances may alter the manner in which law is applied and/or interpreted, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney to be certain that your interpretation of the legal information provided is appropriate in light of your particular circumstances.

Submitted by:
Richard Becker, Esq.
Richard Barak Becker, LLC
Phone: 305-508-7202

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Tags: Legal

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbie // Apr 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    We received a citation at the intersection of NE 192 St & W. Country Club Dr. The pictures taken show the light was not working properly. The light was red in both directions. Traffic was stopped going South on W. CC Dr. It was also red going Westbound. The citation stated that if you protest the fine will be increased. If someone else was driving my vehicle the fine would be increased — And so we paid it even though we felt it was wrong. I have been driving 58 years and have never had a ticket. Residents in Aventura are paranoid about these cameras.

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