Commissioner Jared Moskowitz is angry — and on a mission to bring red-light cameras to Parkland.
Moskowitz was driving to a Miami Heat game in Miami on Jan. 2 with a friend when a man in a stolen Chrysler 300C ran a red light and plowed into him at an intersection that didn’t have a red-light camera. The man fled on foot into a housing project police call “The Swamp.”
Moskowitz’s car was totaled, he had hours of surgery and will wear a cast on his wrist for the next three months and then undergo months of physical therapy.
He wants to make sure that kind of thing doesn’t happen in Parkland, he said. “It’s something I’m going to fight for,” he said.
He vowed Wednesday night to bring up the issue repeatedly until he gets a resolution. The city will now ask two companies to bid on getting the red-light cameras contract and the commission will decide whether to move forward. The city has three intersections with traffic lights.
In 2010, the Florida Legislature passed a law permitting the cameras in an attempt to reduce collisions. But a year later, the House passed a bill repealing the law. It stalled in the Senate, but there are new efforts to repeal it. Police typically support the cameras, saying they have cut down on red-light runners. But, increasingly, drivers are fighting the tickets and winning.
Eventually, Moskowitz said he also wants to lobby for surveillance cameras meant to capture license plate images to track down stolen cars. If Parkland decides to buy the surveillance cameras, the city will join Hillsboro Beach and Lighthouse Point, which already have the system in place. If the cameras are approved, there would be 38 cameras at 10 entrances and exits to the city.
“Nothing may have prevented what happened to me because what happened to me is a crime,” said Moskowitz. But there’s a reason why cities across the country are installing red-light cameras — they reduce intersection accidents. In addition, it might provide pictures so we might know what this gentleman looked like before he fled the scene of an accident.”