Red-Light Cameras in South Florida — Are They Helping?

The debate has been making headlines since 2006. It all started when the Sunshine State began installing red-light camera. Do they really help to make our roadways safer and reduce the number of intersection car accidents?

According to the Sun Sentinel, it all depends on where they’re located. According to a recent Florida study of more than 70 municipalities, some areas report that the number of accidents at these intersections doubled, even though the number of citations dropped.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys understand that the number of accidents at some of these intersections may have increased. Yet some intersections, like several in Boynton Beach, saw a near 60 percent reduction in the number of car accidents. The problem with these cameras in many areas is that drivers are hesitant to drive through an intersection with a yellow light because they’re afraid of getting a ticket, even though the safer move would be to pass on through. With this fear, we’re seeing far more rear-end accidents at intersections with these cameras. At the same time, accidents are being prevented because more drivers are stopping. It’s yet to be sorted out — what works and what only makes it worse.

“Drivers are more careful at all intersections, fearing a camera has been installed,” report the Boynton Beach police

According to the recent red-light camera report:

-The number of accidents dropped in more than 40 municipalities, but jumped in more than 10. The other municipalities didn’t change or didn’t provide any information for the study.

-Of the 36 jurisdictions of Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward Counties with red-light cameras, more than 20 saw improvements, 6 saw increases in accidents, 2 reported no changes and 6 didn’t report any information.

-Boca Raton didn’t report any numbers for accident reports because cameras were active for only 2 months.

-West Park, Sunrise and Broward saw an increase in the number of accidents.

-Margate, Coral Springs, Hallandale Beach and Pembrooke Pines all reported an increase in the number of accidents.

-Hollywood and Davie didn’t report any changes in the number of intersection accidents with these red-light cameras.

-Miami was able to lock in the most number of violations at these intersections. They actually reported the most number of citations in the state of Florida — with more than 98,000 citations resulting from more than 110 cameras in 3 dozen intersections.

-Hallandale Beach only handed out about 3,500 violations at its 2 intersections with merely 3 cameras.

-Broward County was led by Hollywood, with more than 37,000 violations. Pembroke Pines came in second in Broward with more than 23,335 violations, followed by Fort Lauderdale with about 19,500 citations.

-Close to 20 of the municipalities reported citing motorists for rolling right-hand turns. About 15 say they didn’t and 2 didn’t say a thing.