Red light camera advocate gets one at intersection where husband died

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Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013 6:31 pm | Updated: 9:04 pm, Sat Feb 8, 2014.

BRADENTON - Two weeks away from giving birth to her daughter, Melissa Wandall learned that her baby girl would never meet her father.

Mark Wandall, 30, died when a woman ran a red light at the intersection of State Road 70 and Tara Boulevard and plowed into the SUV in which he was a passenger in October 2003. A small memorial stands at the intersection asking people to drive safely in Mark Wandall's name. Now, something else stands to insist.

Red light cameras will now catch those who run red lights and issue tickets with a fine of $158.

“I'll leave my house virtually every day, and I have to go through that intersection, Melissa Wandall says. She says she got a pleasant surprise when she noticed the cameras going up a couple weeks ago. Someone from Manatee County called her to let her know they would go live Tuesday, June 18. “These cameras are truly about saving a life, and about one less Mark Wandall story,” She says. “Somebody had to die for those cameras to go up.”

She says these unblinking eyes keep her husband alive. She battled a sometimes skeptical state legislature to make them legal. The cameras still face critics, and so does the woman who became their public face. “I had somebody call me and tell me that God would punish me for what I've done,” she says. “Like I have this huge power and God would punish me because my husband was killed and I wanted to do something positive about it.”

She says that since the fatal crash, things like smart phones have only made driving more dangerous. The cameras force people to focus on the road, she says. And more than 90 percent of people who get a ticket from them do not get another. “What does that mean?” she asks. “They're complying. They're learning their lesson. Less people are being injured. Less people are being killed.”

Almost a decade after her husband's death, Melissa Wandall's love for him clearly remains undying. But she can only guess at what he might think of what she calls his life-saving legacy. “I think he would say that 'there's my girl, I knew she'd have my back.'”

Melissa Wandall has become an advocate for these cameras around the country – but is glad to see the one just a mile-and-a-half from her home.

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  • jcwconsult posted at 8:53 pm on Sat, Jun 15, 2013.

    jcwconsult Posts: 1

    A key reason that Mark Wandall died that day is that one of the drivers was buzzed, and likely not driving with 100% alertness and caution.

    As to the cameras, in almost every case adding one second to the yellow intervals will reduce red light violations by MORE than the predatory red light camera cash registers that indirectly pay Melissa Wandall's salary as an employee of a front group funded by ATS, the camera vendor.

    And the Florida Department of Transportation changed the rules in July 2011 to allow cities to deliberately set the yellow intervals too short for the ACTUAL approach speeds. This was done to cause more split second violations by safe drivers so the state gets more $83 commissions from the $158 tickets.

    Red light cameras are for-profit business partnerships between the state of Florida, a camera company, and a city willing to deliberately mis-engineer their lights for more tickets and more profits.

    This is corrupt and immoral, but it is VERY profitable - $100 million worth in 2012.

    James C. Walker, Life Member - National Motorists Association

  • srd275 posted at 8:09 am on Sat, Jun 15, 2013.

    srd275 Posts: 8

    Quote: Last month, a group calling itself the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) obtained a great deal of exposure for red light cameras through the "National Stop on Red Week" publicity campaign. Several police departments around the country participated, with most news reports treating the issue as a public service announcement. Documents show the group coordinating this effort, NCSR, is controlled exclusively by the photo ticketing firm American Traffic Solutions (ATS).

    As previously reported, NCSR is the creation of David Kelly, the head of the public relations firm Storm King Strategies, and ATS is just one of Kelly's many clients. According to congressional records, Kelly has received at least $580,000 since 2009 to lobby in favor of ticketing for the National Safety Council; for legislation mandating ignition interlocks on behalf of interlock manufacturers; and for reduced CAFE standards on behalf of Jaguar-Land Rover.

    Documents incorporating NCSR Inc as a nonprofit entity in the state of Missouri confirm that NCSR is anything but the independent campaign of "victims, parents, medical professionals and first responders" as the group's publicity material suggests. NCSR's board of directors instead consists of three individuals: James D. Tuton, ATS president; George J. Hittner, ATS General Counsel; and Charles Territo, ATS spokesman.

    The rep who brought us the RLC FRAUD works for NCSR-ATS too.

    Quote II: ",,,Ron Reagan, the former state representative responsible for legalizing cameras in Florida, both are now part of NCSR-ATS."

  • srd275 posted at 8:04 am on Sat, Jun 15, 2013.

    srd275 Posts: 8

    He might be wondering how a RLC will ever stop a RLV crash when the vendors OWN VIDEOS SHOW THE RLC FAILING TO STOP these crashes. Like these videos here:

    He would be wondering how she can claim this is about "safety" when no dangerous driver is pulled over, just sent a bill weeks later.

    He would be wondering how you can claim RLC are about safety when most of the "violations" are right turns on red, stopping on or over the stop line, and split second mistakes.

    He would be wondering why RLC supporters TRY to PREVENT reforms LIKE LONGER AMBERS.

    He would wonder why when one digs deeper there are many cops (and legislators) who might be getting paid by those very same RLC vendors now or later after they "retire".

    By the way it seems Wandall might be working for a KNOWN RLC VENDOR FRONT GROUP. NCSR-ATS.

    Check out the latest on ATS. On ATS "donations smells of bribery in East Cleveland."
    camerafraud on Facebook.

  • Paul Henry posted at 2:32 am on Sat, Jun 15, 2013.

    Paul Henry Posts: 5

    Mrs. Wandall has been victimized twice. First, by the loss of her husband in a crash an automated for-profit device would NOT have prevented, and then by the for-profit companies that used her as the face to generate sympathy so that they can line their coffers in Arizona with their for-profit law enforcement scheme that is assisted by Florida government officials.

    Was there a need for an automated for-profit device at SR 70 and Tara Bv.? Seeing as how the county will never disclose this data, I looked it up for myself. Unlike Mrs. Wandall or anyone at the for-profit company, I had the opportunity to work many years as both a trooper and traffic homicide investigator, so I know from firsthand experience what causes these crashes. It is either inattention, as Mrs. Wandall noted in the story, or impairment (DUI). No device mounted on a pole at roadside will prevent this type of crash. ATS has over 160 of them on YouTube, all caught by their devices installed to prevent the crashes.

    I have DOT crash data for Florida for 2005-2011. I pulled it for SR 70 at Tara Dr. in Manatee County for the total number of red light violation (RLV) crashes there. I excluded anything not listed as being in the intersection, as a RLV crash takes place within the intersection. I included SR 70 & Creekwood, as that is the same road as Tara Bv. On the north side of the intersection.

    In summary, for the seven year period of 2005-2011, there were a total of 18 crashes within this intersection or that of SR 70 & Creekwood. Of these, a total of 4 were RLV crashes. Looking at the total number of crashes by the year, you can see normal fluctuation:

    2005: 1 (0 RLV)
    2006: 3 (1 RLV)
    2007: 2 (0 RLV)
    2008: 3 (0 RLV)
    2009: 1 (0 RLV)
    2010: 6 (2 RLV)
    2011: 2 (1 RLV)

    Looking at the crash data further, in both 2010 and 2011 SR 70 & Braden Run had three RLV crashes each year for a total of six, while SR 70 & Tara had only three total, yet SR 70 & Braden Run did not get a device. Why? Is it possible that there are not enough “violations” to make it profitable since it is on the other side of I-75?

    If the devices are for safety, as our local officials keep telling us, then why no automated for-profit device there? The facts once again prove the devices are not for safety, but for revenue. Our local officials are lying to us. They place the almighty dollar above telling the truth.

    The Liberty First Network is leading the fight in Florida against red light cameras in 2014. Visit and support us at


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