For many years, revenues were substantially increased by tickets issued from red-light cameras. These controversial devices, however, have caused substantial debate over the past few years. Defense attorneys are regularly fighting in court over the legality of these devices while law makers strive to make a change on behalf of drivers.
In mid-March, traffic judges threw out 24,000 ticket cases that resulted from red-light cameras in just one county. Their ruling was that the devices, provided by Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions, Inc., were a violation of the state law. The tickets that were voided would have totaled more than $6.3 million in fines to the violators. The judges relied on a decision made last October that too much authority was given to the camera provider. According to the state's law, however, only law enforcement is permitted to issue violations.
As a result of the ruling, Boca Rotan has shut down its red light cameras and Fort Lauderdale suspended the program in early March. For most counties, however, the battle continues. Florida cities recognize the benefits of the cameras in regard to the revenue they generate which is why they are hesitant to close down the program.
This brings us to the primary issue being argued about in court in regard to these devices. The program's initiative is not so much to improve driving behavior and reduce crash statistics caused by running red lights. Instead, the objective of the counties is to use them as a tool to increase revenues. Because law makers and activists have perceived this as the goal of law enforcement, they are engaging in a war to shut the red light program down.
If you have been ticketed and would like further information on the legality of red light cameras, we encourage you to contact our firm. Our St. Johns County traffic offense lawyer can help protect your rights and fight for a dismissal of the charge.