Decades-Long Quest for Safer Streets Reaches an Important Milestone
In 2010 after years of campaigning for safer streets Melissa, Wandall saw Florida's legislature pass the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act. In the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians, this law allows Florida cities to put in place red light cameras to catch and ticket cars running red lights
Since the act was passed, it's faced opposition every year, despite proof that it curbs fatal crashes. "An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study of 117 cities, a number of them in Florida, found that those with camera programs have 21 percent fewer fatal red-light-running crashes," Angie Schmitt reports for Streetsblog USA. Now, with this decision in place, the act is more secure.
Wandall became an activist in 2003 after her husband was killed crossing the street. She did not have a background in organizing or lobbying. "With her baby daughter, Madisyn Grace (now 14) in tow, she started a one-woman lobbying campaign, often driving five hours to Tallahassee to press state lawmakers for action on red-light running," Schmitt reports.