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Red light law may give cities a way to raise money

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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist may have given the state and local municipalities a way to raise more money. This may allow them to avoid layoffs and perhaps even hire more people. And many governments in Florida are facing major budget shortfalls.

Cirst signed a bill allowing red light cameras on state roads running through cities willing to install technology that would allow for cameras to photograph red light runners and then send them a ticket. This technology has generated plenty of controversy in Florida.

The new law would call for fines of $158. Cities and counties would receive $45 to $75 for an infraction. Florida would get $70, trauma centers would receive $10 and $3 would go to the state Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund. State officials believe Florida could receive more than $29 million in the first year of the camera operations and $95 million a year by 2014. Local governments would receive $10 million during the first year and $66 million by 2014. This would enable many of these governments to avoid many of the budget problems they are now facing.

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