Miami Officials Vote to End Revenue Generating Red Light Camera Prgm.
The city voted unanimously to cancel its contract with American Traffic Solutions, which operates has 147 cameras placed around the city.
Ninety-eight of them are operational.
Now the company has 60 day to discontinue its lucrative operations in the city.
Citations of $158 per ticket will stop after the program vanishes.
But anyone who receives a ticket before the program ends will be responsible for dealing with it.
So-called activists who profit from the program, along with an ATS spokesman, criticized the move.
“Don’t be responsible for more people losing their lives,” Marc Buoniconti, an activist for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, said.
“Are you going to go to the funerals of these families if you turn these cameras off?”
American Traffic Solutions spokesman Charles Territo said in a written statement that videos from the cameras were used for nearly 2,500 police investigations, according to the Miami Herald.
Territo said fatal crashes at intersections equipped with red light cameras fell from 16 in 2015 to four in 2016.
“Nearly 65 percent of the violations issued were given to drivers who didn’t even live in the city,” Territo said.
“Regardless of today’s decision the fact remains that Miami is one of the most dangerous cities in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
“We wish them the best on their efforts to reduce traffic related collisions, injuries and fatalities,” Territo added.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, along with City Commissioner Joe Carollo can now say they kept a campaign promise.
We have a very poor city,” Commissioner Carollo said, who campaigned on the fact Miami has more red light cameras than any other city in the U.S.
“That’s a huge amount of money taken out of our city,” he said.
In the beginning, the cameras were sold to the public as a safety measure.
But it wasn’t long before the public began questioning whether the operation was a revenue generating scheme for a cash-poor city to pay its budget during a recession.
Mayor Suarez has been attempting to end the program since 2013 in Miami, which is one of the poorest major cities in the U.S.
The City of Miami was able to back out of its agreement with American Traffic Solutions “for convenience” thanks to a clause permitting it to cancel its contract without penalties.