Ban red-light cameras in Florida--a perfect example of government selling out citizens to benefit special interests and politicians, and to squeeze more dollars out of the people
Farid A. Khavari
If you have red-light cameras in your area, you probably know someone who has gotten a ticket, or maybe you have gotten one yourself. If you are not seeing red yet, just wait! When you see someone get a ticket that costs half or more of a week's income, you realize how predatory and regressive the whole rotten setup is.
There is no convincing data to show that red-light cameras reduce accidents or improve safety. This is especially true if cities shorten the yellow light times to catch more people running red lights.
If we are concerned about preventing accidents, there is one common sense solution to reduce accidents, yet costs nothing: simply make all 4 lights red for 1 second between light changes at the intersection, and keep yellow light times the same.
Obviously, red-light cameras are not about safety, they are about money. Money first for the red-light camera companies, of course, with a share for lobbying, political contributions, and so on. Then some for the state, and some for the city or town, all sucked out of the people, many of whom are poor and suffering already.
No politician who would consider red-light cameras as a legitimate way to raise revenue deserves to be in charge of a landfill, much less a state or city budget. At best it is a stupid and shortsighted way to get revenue. In reality, it is simply evil and predatory and makes people hate government and politicians.
The millions of dollars sent out of state to the red-light camera companies could generate five times that amount in economic activity--and job creation--in Florida. The same for the money paid to governments. More economic activity means more jobs, which means many times more revenue for government than the few bucks they get for each ticket.
As governor I will push to eliminate these blood-sucking parasites from our intersections forever. My economic plan will create a million real middle class jobs in Florida without subsidies, saving government far more than the dirty money gained from these cameras--and generating real revenue from a vibrant economy, while reducing social costs.
There are many other examples of government selling out the people, especially in health care and property insurance. At least if we reduce everyone's property insurance by 30% as my plan will do, people can afford to pay their red-light tickets.
Farid Khavari, Ph. D. is a noted economist and an independent candidate for Florida governor in 2014.