Orlando resident uses data to fight city's red-light camera program

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ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando resident who has been battling the city's red-light cameras for months said he has data that shows thousands of drivers shouldn't have received tickets.

David Shaw told Channel 9 he used the same formula as St. Petersburg resident Matt Florell, whose work prompted St. Petersburg commissioners to get rid of red-light cameras.

"St. Petersburg is dropping their program, effective next month," Shaw said.

According to Shaw, he was able to get data from the city of Orlando that shows thousands of questionable red-light tickets.

He said some Orlando drivers received tickets for passing through a red light one-tenth of a second after it turned red, while other Florida cities don't ticket until at least half of a second.

"It's the equivalent of giving a vehicle owner a speeding ticket for one mile per hour above the speed limit," Shaw said.

A city spokesperson said, "The city of Orlando believes that if someone breaks the law by running a red light, a violation should be issued."

According to Shaw, the city shortened the yellow-light time at three intersections after the cameras were installed. He said roughly 2,200 drivers wouldn't have received tickets if the yellow-light times had remained the same.

"It was obviously shortened to increase revenue at the expense of safety," Shaw said.

But the spokesperson said light-time changes came after a Florida Department of Transportation study and "this reduction never resulted in yellow-light times being below the required FDOT minimum."

Shaw believes the red-light camera program could end up costing the city money. He said he's still working on collecting more data and will continue fighting the red-light cameras.