WASHINGTON - April 12, 2012 - Florida is raising the bar in its approach to traffic enforcement and road safety. A powerful traffic safety act uses a portion of traffic light violation fees to fund paralysis research, helping to benefit victims of motor vehicle accidents.
The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act allocates a portion of each fine collected through safety camera enforcement in Florida toward research conducted at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Passed in 2010, the Act's distribution of fines generated from reckless drivers is in place to help victims of car accidents who suffer traumatic injuries. Often, these injuries result in paralysis. Another portion goes toward support of local trauma centers around the state of Florida.
At The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, over 200 researchers diligently pioneer efforts in spinal cord injury research to find more effective treatments and ultimately, a cure.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), a nonprofit organization advocating on behalf of the traffic safety technology industry, supports the work at The Miami Project and the continued benefits the Wandall Safety Act brings to the state of Florida.
"A number of preventable auto accidents leave victims with spinal cord injuries," said David Kelly, President and Executive Director of NCSR. "It is encouraging to see Florida's Wandall Safety Act contributing to The Miami Project and their effort to find a cure for such victims."
The Wandall Safety Act is named in honor of Melissa Wandall's husband, who was killed by a red-light runner two weeks before their daughter was born. A road safety advocate, Melissa has joined with The Miami Project's Chief Fundraiser, Marc Buoniconti, in this compelling video to discuss the benefits the Act has brought to Florida through the safety camera program. The funding it's providing to The Miami Project's research will extend far beyond Florida residents - reaching anyone suffering from spinal cord injuries and other neurological diseases and disorders.
The Wandall Safety Act has provided The Miami Project with $2 million over the course of 18 months. Learn more and view the video here: Wandall Safety Act: From Public Safety to Cutting Edge Science.
About The Miami Project
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis is the world's most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center, and a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. The Miami Project's international team is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and includes more than 250 scientists, researchers and clinicians who take innovative approaches to the challenges of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
About The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act
The "Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act" is established whereby the regulation and use of cameras for enforcing traffic control signal laws is expressly preempted to the state. The manner in which municipalities and counties may administer such a program is established and the amount of the fine to be imposed, $158, is provided. Disposition of fines is provided as follows: three-fifths to be retained by the county or municipality enforcing the ordinance; one-fifth as provided by s. 318.21, F.S.; and one-fifth to be deposited in the Department of Health Administrative Trust Fund.
About the National Coalition for Safer Roads
NCSR was organized as an industry trade association with the express purpose of advocating on behalf of the traffic safety technology industry. NCSR is proud to advocate for the use of red light safety cameras in more than 600 communities across the country to change reckless driver behavior, stop red-light running and save lives. NCSR is supported by American Traffic Solutions, with coalition partners including the National Safety Council; Safe Kids USA; Child Safety Network; National Organizations for Youth Safety; America Walks; and Red Means Stop, as well as numerous police departments, medical professionals, safety advocates, industry leaders, community leaders and concerned citizens. View NCSR Partners. For more information, visit http://NCSRsafety.org/, follow @SaferRoadsUSA on Twitter and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaferRoadsUSA.