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Sunday, Apr 20, 2014
Letter of the Day

Lawmakers should keep paws off local cameras

Published:

Two of our state legislators, Sen. Jeff Brandes of Pinellas County and Rep. Frank Artiles of Miami-Dade, both Republicans, are mistaken concerning their opposition to red-light cameras being used in several Florida communities. Furthermore, they may be somewhat hypocritical.

Just what business is it of state officials sticking their noses into local issues? They should just keep their paws off the use of these cameras, particularly when espousing (which I assume they do as good Republicans) the principle of smaller government intrusion into community business, and advocates of law and order.

And what difference does it make if these communities are raising much-needed cash from those who chose to break the law? Last time I heard, running red lights is against the law, and if tailgating isn’t, it ought to be inasmuch as the party striking the car in front is usually charged with an infraction.

I’m sure these good Republicans consider those illegals among us to be uninvited guests not deserving of benefits because they broke the law. Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and those getting caught on film breaking the law by dangerously running a red light deserve to pay if the local government says so, and it’s no business of those in Tallahassee.

Brandes complains that the money raised is going into the general budget rather than promoting safe driving. So what! If he’s concerned about governmental shell games, maybe he should look at the original intent of the Florida Lottery. All those funds were supposed to go to education. That’ll be the day.

Furthermore, I don’t trust how they interpret the statistics. When I read them I see that deaths are down substantially, and Hillsborough County rear-end collisions are down dramatically while those in Pasco and Pinellas are up nominally. From where I sit I can see no legitimate argument for revoking the law permitting red-light cameras other than from those who have been caught and had to pay.

Jack Boyet

Tampa

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