Bill filed to eliminate express lanes on Florida highways

State Sen. Frank Artiles says express lanes 'not safe'

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter , Derek Shore - Reporter

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A state senator from Miami has filed a bill to do away with express lanes on all of Florida's highways.

Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, filed SB 250 Thursday during the 2017 legislative session in Tallahassee.

The new bill would allow the express lanes to remain in operation only until tolls are collected to pay off the bonds that were created to pay for the project.

Once the bond indebtedness has been met, the bill would require the tolls to be eliminated.

"I truly believe that it's only a money-making scheme," Artiles told Local 10 News.

Local 10 first reported on the dangers that the express lanes have created as drivers move in and out of lanes and leave law enforcement little room to offer citations.

"It's clear that it is not safe," Artiles said. "We've had five fatalities. You've had dash cameras that have shown you what exactly happens." 

Artiles claims that Florida Highway Patrol research shows 12,192 crashes occurred in express lanes in Miami-Dade County alone, with five resulting in fatalities.

"Safety is more important than revenues," Artiles said.

Artiles credited Local 10's reporting for highlighting the issues.

However, the Florida Department of Transportation maintains that the lanes are safe.