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Action News Investigates Out-of-State Drivers Not Paying Red Light Fines

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Updated: 2/24 6:22 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- At select intersections in northeast Florida, if a camera catches you running a red light, you are hit with a significant fine.

Patrick Buckley knows how expensive it is to get a red-light camera ticket. A camera caught his wife running a light in Jacksonville. That instance led to a $158 fine.

Buckley paid the ticket so the state would not suspend his wife's Florida driver's license. Not everyone is paying the penalty.

Action News obtained this long list of out-of-state drivers with outstanding red-light camera tickets. We added it up and found 267 people owe the city of Jacksonville nearly $65,000. That's only from last year, since the cameras were just installed in Jacksonville.

We obtained the same data from Orange County. Nearly 4,000 out-of-state drivers owe more than $1 million in red light camera fines going back to 2010.

Action News found out there's a problem with that. State law says Florida can't suspend driver's licenses issued by other states. We took the concerns to State Senator Aaron Bean. "Part of the cost of doing business is never collecting," said Bean.

Bean says there's another issue with pending legislation to ban cameras and the debate over the length of yellow lights.  "Until that's settled, I don't know if you'll see any legislation or move to go after the non-payers in other states."

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tells Action News they just report the violation to the drivers state. A spokesman said they're not a collection agency.

Buckley says if Floridians are forced to pay, everyone should be paying the price. "We're sitting here having to pay. They should get out of state to pay."

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says they send a driver's license suspension request to the Florida DMV, which is then passed on to the driver's home state. But enforcement varies from state to state. For example, Texas doesn't even consider red-light camera tickets a moving violation.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Truthseeker - 2/25/2014 1:47 PM
0 Votes
boxlover, I like the way that you have convinced yourself that it is the military that is the problem. Maybe it was aliens visiting from another planet in spaceships camouflaged as Kias.

boxerlover - 2/25/2014 12:19 PM
0 Votes
Jacksonville is a military town. Perhaps many of these "out of state" drivers are stationed here. Maybe the state could work out something with the military. I'm thankful that they defend our country, but they shouldn't break laws. Maybe they're snowbirds? Place the fine on their property taxes. Or, do away with the cameras.
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