TAMPA, FL- Tampabay.com writes that speed cameras are being proposed as a way to reduce traffic risks on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard. Feelings regarding speed cameras are mixed. Like red-light cameras, speed cameras are used to catch people speeding even when drivers are not in the area. Several large cities, including New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago, employ red light cameras and issue tickets to violating drivers through the mail.
According to a spokesperson for the mayor, these devices are not yet being proposed in Tampa. However, one local planner stated that the cameras could be useful in reducing violations of the speed limit along Bayshore Boulevard, where three pedestrians have been killed in the last two years. All three deaths involved speeding vehicles. The cameras could help because the problem is not the road design, but the reckless drivers.
While speed cameras have been employed in Europe and the United States for decades, many motorists dislike these devices. Whether drivers find them frustrating or not, a pilot program in New York indicated that fatal crashes dropped by about 50 percent in just one year after the cameras were installed.
Some claim the cameras create privacy issues. Although thirteen states explicitly banned such cameras, they are allowed in nine. Most states, including Florida, do not have any law relating to the devices.
In order to install the cameras, legislative action would be required. As such, it seems that even if the cameras may be posted in the state, it will not be happening any time soon. If the cameras are not adopted, the state will still need to consider alternative plans to protect its pedestrians. More people die on the state’s roads than in any other part of the nation.
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