Fair Warning? - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Fair Warning?

Posted: Updated:

WSVN -- The eyes in the sky are already here. Traffic cameras mounted at South Florida intersections, strobing away day and night, recording red light violations.

Richard Masone: "I mean, this is what we have police officers on the street for: pulling people over, writing tickets. Why aren't they writing it instead of these cameras trapping people?"

Richard Masone successfully challenged the cameras earlier this year after he got a ticket. But now, a new state law is making the cameras legal. And cities across South Florida are already planning to install more.

Harvey Rosenblatt: "To make money. Just a way of getting revenue."

There's lots of skepticism about the motives, but when the light turns yellow, be ready to stop.

In general, drivers in Miami-Dade and Broward get four seconds of a yellow warning light before the light changes to red. But some experts say, that may not be long enough.

Norman Wartman: "It has to be adequate yellow time."

Norman Wartman is a transportation expert and a member of the National Motorists Foundation. His group recommends longer yellow light times.

The concept: if drivers have more warning to stop, they will run fewer red lights.

Karen Anderson: "Absolutely. I think if they were, like, a little bit longer, like six to eight seconds, that would be even better."

Wartman says, it worked in Virginia.

Norman Wartman: "And they had a 95 percent reduction in people running red lights."

But at Miami-Dade's Control Center, the traffic signal chief disagrees.

Robert Williams, Traffic Signal Chief: "It's been working well for decades."

Robert Williams says, any decrease in red light running would only be temporary until drivers got used to longer yellows.

Robert Williams: "And it also is a disadvantage of increasing rear-end collisions, because one driver will decide to stop when they see the yellow display and another driver behind that person may decide to continue running."

On the other hand, traffic experts say, fear of getting a red light violation may also cause more accidents, because people will jam on the brakes when the light turns yellow.

Miriam Romero: "Fast, they put a yellow, and you must stop. Because I have a terror of the camera taking a picture."

So, it would seem motorists are going to have to be extra careful at intersections, no matter what the length of the yellow lights. The new camera law goes into effect July 1, but it is likely to be challenged.

Ted Hollander, Ticket Attorney: "In our opinion, the law is unconstitutional."

Ticket Clinic Attorney Ted Hollander says, his firm will attack the law on several fronts, including yellow light timing.

Ted Hollander: "The national standard says that the light can be up to six seconds of yellow, and why would we have it a shorter period of time if it's really about safety?"

Carmel Cafiero: "Fair warning or not, supporters of red light cameras insist, they are all about safety. But with millions of dollars to be made, critics contend, these cameras are really all about making money."

IF YOU HAVE A STORY FOR CARMEL TO INVESTIGATE:

Miami-Dade: 305-627-CLUEBroward: 954-921-CLUEE-mail: clue@wsvn.com

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Same-sex marriage ban struck down for Miami-Dade County

    Same-sex marriage ban struck down for Miami-Dade County

    Saturday, July 26 2014 1:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 05:07:42 GMT
    MIAMI -- A Florida judge on Friday overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage in a ruling that applies to Miami-Dade County, agreeing with a judge in another county who made a similar ruling last week. Still, no marriage licenses will be issued for gay couples in either county any time soon to allow for appeals.
    MIAMI -- A Florida judge on Friday overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage in a ruling that applies to Miami-Dade County, agreeing with a judge in another county who made a similar ruling last week. Still, no marriage licenses will be issued for gay couples in either county any time soon to allow for appeals.
  • Memorial bike ride held for motorcyclist killed in wrong-way crash

    Memorial bike ride held for motorcyclist killed in wrong-way crash

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:43:21 GMT
    DAVIE, Fla. -- Dozens of bikers came together on Friday to take part in a memorial motorcycle ride in a show of support for a fellow biker who lost his life in a wrong-way crash.
    DAVIE, Fla. -- Dozens of bikers came together on Friday to take part in a memorial motorcycle ride in a show of support for a fellow biker who lost his life in a wrong-way crash.
  • Abused dog found malnourished and abandoned, recovering

    Abused dog found malnourished and abandoned, recovering

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:07 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:07:19 GMT
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A dog that was dumped, found all alone, sick, starving and in desperate need of help is now recovering thanks to volunteers and 7News viewers.
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A dog that was dumped, found all alone, sick, starving and in desperate need of help is now recovering thanks to volunteers and 7News viewers.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.