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Are Red-light Cameras Legal in Tampa?

When you’re approaching an intersection, and the traffic light turns yellow, you have about a half of a second to make a decision on whether you have enough time to make it through the intersection before the light turns red. The amount of time that the traffic light remains yellow isn’t uniform from city to city across Florida either. It might not even be uniform from intersection to intersection in the same city. The one thing that’s for certain is that there are times when innocent people get caught in the middle. Sometime after that, they receive their notice of a red light violation in the mail. That’s when the reality of red light cameras hits people. Red-light cameras seem unfair and their fines are expensive. Yet, red-light cameras are legal in Florida.

Florida passed its red-light camera law in 2010. It’s up to the various municipalities in the state as to whether they want to use them. To date, about 50 cities in the state use red-light cameras. In 2018, they collected an estimated $100 million in revenue from red-light cameras. Legislation is pending yet again in Tallahassee to ban red-light cameras. It seems to be an annual piece of proposed legislation. The House approved a similar bill in 2018, with a vote of 83-10. However, the bill stalled in the Senate. The new bill for 2019 must still pass two committees before the House can vote on it. Assuming they approve, then it goes to the Senate again. Red-light cameras will continue to be legal in Florida unless approved the House, the Senate, and signed off on by Governor DiSantis. If that doesn’t happen, you can expect similar bills seeking to repeal Florida’s red-light camera law in future legislative sessions.

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