Fewer being ticketed by police in Florida

FHP bucks trend, handing out slightly more

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Like to drive fast?

Don't have time to stop for school buses letting off students?

Consider a yellow light to be as good as a green when passing through an intersection?

You may be in the right state.

The latest statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show police wrote about 5 percent fewer traffic tickets last year than they did in 2011.

An exception was the Florida Highway Patrol. State troopers handed out 513,180 non-criminal moving violations last year, about 1 percent more than in 2011.

Non-criminal moving violations include infractions such as speeding, making improper turns, and running red lights.

The reason for more FHP activity could be more fiscal support. Gov. Rick Scott has proposed an additional $2 million in state funding for the patrol next year. Included in the governor's budget, which is expected to be finalized later this week with the end of the regular legislative session, is $6.9 million to replace aging FHP vehicles.

“Governor Scott’s budget proposal reflects his strong commitment to public safety as well as his support of the work of the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol,” Steven Barnett, chairman of the Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council, is quoted in a Scott news release issued when the governor's budget was unveiled earlier this year.

Could law enforcement personnel soon be writing even fewer tickets in Florida?

Last week, the state Senate voted 27-11 to permit the Florida Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit from 70 mph to 75 mph on about 1,500 miles of interstates and toll roads.

Whether some Florida legislators will do a better job of obeying speed limits and other traffic laws remains to be seen. 

Coming up Monday at 11, Contact 5 Investigators reveal the list of Florida's Leadfoot Lawmakers.