Fines from Red-Light Runners Aid Local Trauma Centers, Paralysis Research & Traffic Safety Programs
By allowing for the use of red-light safety cameras at dangerous Florida intersections, the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act has made Florida roads safer and saved countless lives since it was passed in May 2010. However, traffic safety is not the only positive outcome of this important legislation. More than $10.9 million in funds from red-light violations has gone to benefit paralysis research and trauma centers in the state. The safety act mandates that $10 from each violation help fund Florida’s trauma centers and $3 go toward research at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
New figures from the Florida Department of Health indicate that red-light safety camera violations from 2010 to 2012 contributed over $7.3 million in funding for trauma centers across the state thanks to the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act. Three trauma centers top the list for benefiting most from these funds – Ryder Trauma Center in Miami ($758,400), Orlando Regional Medical Center ($707,000), and Shands University of Florida in Gainesville ($610,700). More information on other Florida trauma centers can be found here.
In the same time frame, red-light safety cameras have contributed more than $3.6 million to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, funding cutting-edge research into spinal cord injuries that are often caused by traffic collisions. The funds from the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act have gone a long way at the Miami Project, as seen in this video featuring Marc Buoniconti, Chief Fundraiser at the Miami Project and Melissa Wandall, NCSR President and widow of Mark Wandall.
While red-light safety cameras drive down the number of red-light runners and help reduce fatal collisions, they are also aiding victims of car crashes in Florida with the proper care and research they need to recover.
Florida isn’t the only state where red-light safety camera funds are helping the public. Communities in Texas are using a portion of the fines to fund trauma centers, traffic safety programs, drunk driving education programs, and more. In Texas, profits from the camera program are split evenly between the city and the state and the state’s portion goes toward funding trauma centers.
In Frisco, the city’s share is contributed to the Shattered Dreams youth education program to prevent drunken driving. In Watauga, a portion of the red-light safety camera program’s funds were directed to a city-assisted program to install traffic signals in areas where it was dangerous for children to cross roads. Nearly $20,000 of camera revenues in Ft. Worth helped with a “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign. In addition, communities like Cleveland, Little Elm, and Balcones Heights have all expanded their traffic safety programs with funds from red-light violations.
As these cameras help to improve driver behavior and decrease accidents, the fines collected from red-light runners are going back into the communities and improving traffic safety efforts across the country. These contributions to trauma centers, paralysis research, and traffic safety programs help the victims of car crashes recover and aid in keeping roads safe for all.
Thanks to red-light safety cameras, driver behavior is improving in New Jersey. Red-light violations are down 85 percent and t-bone crashes have decreased by 86 percent since the launch of the pilot program in 2010.