Extra on Getting There: Group releases 'worst red-light runners' video

By Ryan Harper, Real Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 5:38 PM EST

The state of Florida ranks third in the country for red-light running deaths, according to a national safe-driving advocacy group.

  • Safe-driving group issues compilation video of red-light runners
  • Group wants Florida to keep red light cameras
  • Legislation repealing red-light camera law passed Florida House

Now, the National Safety Coalition for Safer Roads hopes that footage they released called "2017's Florida's Worst Red Light Runners" will inspire state lawmakers to keep red light cameras.

In Orlando, there are currently 24 red light cameras stationed around the city's borders. It's part of a red light enforcement program called Orlando STOPS, which aims to reduce red-light running accidents, injuries and deaths while also allowing officers to focus on "other public safety issues."

"We've seen an 11 percent reduction in overall crashes, and my recollection is a 31 percent reduction in angle crashes,” said city of Orlando transportation director Billy Hattaway. “Those are the most severe crashes. Those are the ones we're most concerned about from an injury and fatality standpoint."

Red-light cameras are not without controversy. A report issued last year from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles claiming that total crashes at intersections with red light cameras actually were up over 10 percent compared with numbers before the devices were installed there.

However, Hattaway has some skepticism about the study.

"As an example, we had somewhere between 14 and 19 intersections with red light cameras when that report was produced, and yet the report only showed one intersection,” Hattaway said. “So I'm concerned about the validity."

The legality of red light cameras is in question right now in Tallahassee. A bill repealing the state's red light camera law passed the Florida House last week and has moved to the state Senate.

The city of Orlando hopes red light cameras will stay.

"I'm hopeful that the legislature will allow cities to fix their programs so we can continue with the red light camera program, because I think when it comes to trying to improve safety, it's a much more effective program and more fair program than using law enforcement, because they have to make a judgement call on the spot."