State Politics

Governor to sign red-light camera bill in Lakewood Ranch

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Gov. Charlie Crist will visit Lakewood Ranch today to sign the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, named in honor of a Manatee County motorist who died in a violent 2003 car accident caused by a red-light runner.

The bill-signing ceremony is slated for 12:30 p.m. at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s Lakewood Ranch Office at the McClure Center, 4215 Concept Court, according to chamber officials.

Also slated to appear is Mark’s widow, Melissa Wandall, who made repeated trips to Tallahassee for many years to lobby on behalf of a bill that sets statewide parameters for use of high-tech cameras designed to catch red-light runners.

Also appearing will be Speaker of the House Pro Tempore Ron Reagan, House sponsor of the bill, who is scheduled to address the audience, officials said.

The county’s legislative delegation also has been invited, officials said.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Reagan said Monday. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the governor to show respect to Mark Wandall. We started five years ago to get this bill done in his name, and I really appreciate the governor coming down and signing it in the town where Mark lived.”

Reagan said other bill sponsors also will be in attendance, adding, “While it’s a tragic, we had to do what we had to do. It’s still in the best interest of the citizens of the state of Florida.”

The public is invited to attend.

The ceremony will take place in the chamber’s board room. For directions, consult the chamber website at

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7031.