Miami's Red Light Camera Program Suspended Beginning Monday

The program will be out of commission while city officials work on crafting a better appeals process

Beginning on Monday Miami's red light camera program will be out of commission – suspended because of an issue with how the tickets are appealed.

City Commissioner Francis Suarez says the program has run its course.

“We had put actually cameras at intersections that had zero crashes last year, or one crash last year, so I think what we saw is a program that was out of control, a program that was abusive,” he said.

The commission voted at Thursday’s meeting to suspend the program and take a look at whether it’s working or not.

Some Miami drivers think the cameras are great and reduce traffic crashes. Marlovis Moreno said he paid a ticket because of a camera, but didn’t mind having to do that.

“No, it was my fault because I was supposed to wait and then make a left,” he said.

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Others disagree with the program, saying the cameras just aren't fair.

“You're running like a little bit over this white line and all of a sudden you get hit with a $200 ticket, then you got to go to court and fight it and it's a waste of your time and a waste of their time,” Miami driver Alexandra Ritzy said.

Right now drivers who get a red light camera ticket can appeal through a state court. But lawmakers in Tallahassee recently decided local municipalities must take on the appeals program and several Miami city commissioners aren't happy with that process at all.

So on July 1 the program will be suspended, while city officials work on crafting a better appeals process.

The commission will decide the future of the program at its meeting on July 11.

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In 2010, there were 40 cameras at 19 intersections. Today, 153 cameras monitor 93 intersections.

The program generates about $3.5 million in revenue each year. Suarez calls it a money grab.

“It's actually more cameras than the city of New York which is 20 times the size of the city of Miami,” he said.

“The problem with that is that our citizens view it as an involuntary tax,” Suarez added.

Statistics show the program has reduced crashes at red light camera intersections by only 1.7 percent, he said.

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