Resolution 2011-02

Concerning Continued Deployment of Red light Running Cameras throughout Florida

WHEREAS, driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right; and
WHEREAS, In a recent suit alleging that red light running cameras are unconstitutional, judge Jerry Brewer, wrote in a three-page ruling that "there is no need to address the merits of the instant motion because it is both procedurally and facially insufficient.�; and

WHEREAS, a recent study from the  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at 99 large U.S. cities to analyze the impact of photo enforcement on intersection fatality rates found that red-light safety cameras reduced traffic fatalities by 24 percent and across the country, more than 150 lives were saved in 14 major U.S. cities over a five-year period; and

WHEREAS, this same study also showed that had cameras been deployed in all major cities between 2004 and 2008, 815 deaths could have been prevented; sand  

WHEREAS, the study looked at the combination of lengthened yellow-light times and red-light safety cameras in Philadelphia and found that while the longer yellow reduced red-light violations by 36 percent, adding camera enforcement cut red-light running by an incredible additional 96 percent; and  

WHEREAS, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 there were 62 fatalities involving red-light runners in Florida � making it the third-deadliest state for such collisions; and

WHEREAS, Florida is also the deadliest state for pedestrians, with bicyclists at an especially high risk; AND

WHEREAS, Mark Rosenker, senior adviser for the National Coalition for Safer Roads stated, red-light runners, for example, cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. In 2009, 676 people were killed and 113,000 were injured in crashes that involved red-light running. Two-thirds of the victims were pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants of vehicles hit by the red-light runners.�; and

WHEREAS, Metro Orlando again ranks as the nation's most dangerous area for pedestrians, landing atop a list dominated by Florida communities, and;

WHEREAS, using 10 years of fatality data, Transportation for America calculated its Pedestrian Danger Index which, among other things, considers the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the amount of walking taking place in cities around the nation and showed that Central Florida led the list this year, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale; and  

WHEREAS, These persuasive statistics graphically demonstrate exactly why communities in Florida should utilize red-light safety cameras � they effectively change dangerous driver behavior and help protect everyone and our communities are significantly safer with this critical technology in place:  Now, Therefore, 

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Florida in Convention assembled this thirtieth day of May, 2011, in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, that the National Federation of the Blind of Florida is greatly disappointed in the members of the legislature who voted to pass House Bill 149, which kept red light cameras, but with the compromise that tickets could not be issued unless the length of yellow lights was increased; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Florida strongly encourages our legislature to keep red light cameras in effect throughout Florida and increase their use in other cities so that not only blind pedestrians, but all pedestrians will be safer on Florida�s roads;  and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED  that this resolution paves the way for more comprehensive pedestrian safety legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to all appropriate government officials.