There’s a long list of problems with the cameras. Start with the fact that drivers are assumed guilty unless they can prove they are innocent — citations are mailed to the registered owner of the car, who might or might not be the person behind the wheel. And because there’s no in-person traffic stop, many drivers may not realize they’ve been ticketed — a possibility born out by the fact that roughly a third of violation notices aren’t paid, automatically converting into uniform traffic citations.
The House could act on a bill (HB 6001) that would shut down red-light cameras, and the Senate should follow suit. It’s rare that the Legislature is justified in overriding city and county officials, but in this case, the civil-rights and public-safety motivations trump local control.
So we understand if your eyes glanced over Tuesday’s Local & State section and missed the pictures, but it bears repeating because it is the fabric of what makes our area special. On the page were pictures showing St. Joe Community Foundation Executive Director Janet Piepui handing over a check for $50,000 to Covenant Care to support bereavement care and charity care for patients in Bay and Walton counties.
It’s easy to overlook that the charitable giving that is a major point of pride for Bay County is not a one-time affair, or a series of inconsequential donations that culminated in 2017 with more than $200,000 being raised for The Empty Stocking Fund, benefiting the area’s underprivileged.