Op-Ed

Miami should keep red-light camera program

The state law that allows for cities like Miami to deploy red-light safety cameras was named after my late husband Mark Wandall, who was killed by a red-light runner when I was nine months pregnant. Our daughter never got to meet her father. He wasn’t there on her first day of kindergarten, won’t be there when she graduates from school and won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. I have dedicated my time and efforts to ensure no other mother, daughter or family member has that experience.

Today, I am President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads, and a coalition member, spokesperson and campaign ambassador for Alert Today Florida, an initiative sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation that works to implement Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan. Alert Today Florida provides a safe transportation system for people of all ages and abilities. Red-light safety cameras are an important part of this strategy.

The cameras in Miami are designed to change bad driving behavior and help reduce the collisions caused by red-light runners. And they work — 80 percent of the violators who get and pay a ticket never do it again. Video has helped police solve dozens of crimes including robberies, hit-and-runs, even murder.

The Mark Wandall Traffic Act also requires a portion of every paid fine to fund trauma care centers and medical research into curing spinal cord injuries. As a result, millions of dollars have poured back into Miami, helping fund the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and trauma centers at Jackson Memorial and Miami Children’s Hospitals.

Sadly, a decision to remove the cameras in Miami will soon come before the Miami City Commission. Call the Mayor and Commissioners and ask them to keep these life-saving red-light cameras.

Melissa Wandall,

Bradenton

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