Tens of thousands of Florida drivers that were ticketed by traffic cameras are now off the hook for their $264 tickets.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently reported that two traffic judges in Broward County have thrown out 24,000 pending traffic ticket cases because part of the process for issuing the citations violates Florida state law.
According to Florida state law, only law enforcement can issue violations––and traffic cameras are not law enforcement.
Likewise, the Arizona-based camera vendor called American Traffic Solutions was responsible for reviewing the footage captured by red light cameras in Florida, and then it forwarded the specifics to police.
However, judges ruled that the involvement by the out-of-state party is itself a violation of state law. Therefore, they decided to dismiss all traffic citations that came by way the traffic cameras. In so doing, this negated $6.3 million in potential revenue.
If you think about it, Florida is just another state to see the writing on the metaphorical wall when it comes to traffic camera tickets. New Jersey completely dismantled its traffic ticket camera program and other states have begun to do the same.
Furthermore, grassroots driver advocacy groups have been arguing that cities should get rid of red light cameras for years. Many critics claim that the fines resulting from red light cameras are often unfair and absurdly expensive––sometimes $500 in certain cases.
Not only that, but scandals have also called various red light camera operations around the country into question.
In Chicago, for instance, a $2 million bribery scheme resulted in the city dropping its contract with one red light camera vendor, while another investigation revealed strange, inexplicable spikes in tickets in certain locations in Chicago––signifying that someone manipulated how and when citations would be issued.
The Chicago Tribune even reported that city officials are aware that the yellow light timing is too short for real-time traffic conditions—the very same problem New Jersey had not too long ago.
Many in New York City have been demanding more transparency in the red light camera systems too, especially because many motorists feel there is good reason to be skeptical about the truth behind whether they actually improve driver and pedestrian safety.
Remember, if you receive a red-light traffic camera ticket, feel free to send in a letter contesting the ticket on your own.
However, if you receive a traffic ticket from an actual police officer, it is best to hire an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to help you fight it.