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Florida Governor Charlie Crist Ceremonially Signs
Bill Legalizing Use of Cameras to Stop Red Light Violators

The signing was hosted by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis who will receive a portion of the fines to fund research into spinal cord and brain injuries


May, 18, 2010, Miami, FL – Florida Governor Charlie Crist was joined in Miami by University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., University of Miami Board of Trustees members and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis founders Nick and Marc Buoniconti today to ceremonially sign HB 325 which authorizes cities to use cameras to crack down on drivers who run red lights.  The measure, which takes effect July 1, has a provision which allows for a portion of the fines to be allocated to The Miami Project for research into spinal cord and brain injuries, the majority of which occur as the result of motor vehicle accidents.


“I am confident the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act is another important measure to further securing the safety of Floridians and visitors while driving throughout the Sunshine State.  In addition, by allocating funds to The Miami Project, we are helping pursue critical research that hopefully someday will eliminate the leading cause of these traumatic injuries,” said Governor Crist.


The law imposes standards to allow for uniform enforcement of the cameras now in use in dozens of communities around the state and will create a statewide law allowing local governments to use the cameras with hopes of eliminating red light running motorist.


University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, was on hand for the signing and expressed her support for the stipulation that provides research dollars to help solve problems caused by the infractions.  “Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of these devastating injuries and the University of Miami is the leader, not only in the state but the world in this area, so we are happy to be a part of making Florida a safer place to live, while providing world class research to the state.”


The law, sponsored by State Senator Thad Altman from Melbourne and State Representative Ronald Reagan from Bradenton, was named after a Bradenton man, Mark Wandall, who was killed by a red-light runner in 2003.  His wife, Melissa, has tirelessly led efforts to get the law passed.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida ranked third in traffic fatalities after California and Texas in both 2007 and 2008.


The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis President Marc Buoniconti, who suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury in 1985, said, “Every day at The Miami Project we see first-hand the ruin left behind by these tragic and preventable accidents in the form of those paralyzed and living with traumatic brain injuries.  We take the designation of these funds very seriously and will use them in the best way we can to alleviate the suffering of those who are unfortunately injured by these accidents.”

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