Red Light Cameras Means Big Bucks In Florida. Are Red Light Cameras Unconstitutional?
South Florida is installing red-light cameras, at traffic lights, faster than you can say: “this is a stick-up.” Authorities claim it makes the streets safer. Drivers caught on camera running red lights are hit with hefty fines and many see it as nothing more than a money making scheme by cities to make up for budget deficits and falling property-tax revenues.
These red light camera tickets must be dealt with, since they are traffic offenses. If you choose to ignore the ticket or citation, your Florida driver license could be suspended and your auto insurance rates could increase.
ARE RED CAMERA LIGHTS UNCONSTITUTIONAL?
Last May, a Pasco County, Florida judge ruled that red light cameras are unconstitutional. Finally, a judge that stands up for the rights of Florida’s citizens. The defendant argued that
“it is the government’s duty to prove the identity of the person driving the vehicle and it is unjust how the burden of proving the case is shifted to the driver’s shoulders because of who owns the vehicle through the information provided on the Florida license plate or tag number.”
Pasco County Judge, Anne Wansboro, ruled in the defendant’s favor and stated the way the burden of proof is shifted to the driver is impermissible and violates due process. She dismissed the case.
Does this mean that you will get off this charge if one of these tickets arrives in your mailbox? Don’t bet on it. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Verify its authenticity. Sometimes, fake tickets are sent out to unsuspecting drivers by local police departments to get a driver to admit fault and pay a fine.
- Educate yourself. Most states require photo enforcement notification signs within 300 yards of an intersection that uses a red camera light. If the signs are missing, damaged or vandalized, the charge may be thrown out.
- Understand how it works. Many red light camera tickets come with two photos of the incident as evidence. One photo will be of the car’s license plate and the other will be a close-up shot of the driver. But just because they have a photo of you doesn’t mean the ticket will hold up in court.
- Gather evidence. Visit the intersection where the alleged incident happened and see if signs are in place for proper notification. Take pictures to show the court. Most tickets will give you a time record. The ticket may include a second-value telling you how many seconds after the light turned red that your vehicle crossed the stop line. If this number is fractional, like 0.1, you can argue that you didn’t have enough time to come to a safe stop.
HIRE A TRAFFIC VIOLATION ATTORNEY
Here is the best step to take – hire a defense attorney who has a large amount of experience in traffic violations. There are only a few attorneys in Palm Beach County who have the experience and expertise to fight this high-tech traffic violation – Andrew D. Stine is one of them.
Andrew D. Stine is a “master of traffic technicalities” including red light cameras. In every state, there are rules governing the way police may write a ticket, rules regarding “speed traps” and rules about “red light cameras.” Stine knows these rules intimately and has the experience necessary to get this violation dismissed.
Red light cameras are here to stay. If one of them “sticks you up,” an experienced traffic violation attorney will put the brakes on this charge – and save you money, aggravation, time and possible points on your driving record.