Appeals Court Okays Local Red Light Camera Law

By: The News Service of Florida
By: The News Service of Florida

December 1, 2011 -

A state appeals court ruled Wednesday that the use of cameras by the city of Aventura and several others to catch red light runners is valid, overruling a lower court that had found the use of the devices before a new state law was enacted illegal. The majority of the three judge panel of the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami said that Aventura, which had red light cameras in place before a 2010 state law that specifically allows them, was within the law. "Doing so is well within the city's exercise of its broad home rule power and falls squarely within the specific authority carved out" by lawmakers for local enforcement of traffic laws, Judge Angel Cortinas wrote for the 2-1 majority. "Through the ordinance, the city has simply developed a procedure for carrying out its power to regulate, restrict or monitor traffic." Senior Judge Alan R. Schwartz joined Cortinas on the majority. Judge Leslie Rothenberg dissented. The bill passed by the Legislature in 2010 now pre-empts municipal regulation of red light cameras, but Aventura and several other cities had the enforcement mechanisms in place before the law was passed. The appeals court noted that the new law specifically didn't invalidate pre-existing camera systems, but moved their regulation to the state. The case is City of Aventura v. Richard Masone.

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  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Dec 2, 2011 at 03:55 AM
    The fix was in Bah humbug but lets make the elected pay at the voting booth.
  • by James on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:43 PM
    Hopefully Masone appeals to the Florida Supreme Court.
  • by durka durrr on Dec 1, 2011 at 04:07 PM
    If red light cameras are constitutional then look out. If you let someone borrow your car and they commit a crime with said car [like evading police] then you're guilty of the crime solely because it was your car. Right? Same thing with the alleged red light runners. that is to say, if a family member borrows your car and runs the light; guess who's guilty... YOU. Thus, you have to contest the charge and self-incriminate yourself thereby violating your 4th amendmend right to remain silent and your procedural due process right of NOTICE. On it's face, and as applied, this law is unconstitutional but Conservative States that are dominated by Republicans have been using the constitution as tiolet paper for quite some time.
  • by I don't speed but I don't like them on Dec 1, 2011 at 02:04 PM
    Just because it might catch some law breakers doesn't make them right - the ends don't always justify the means. Unless they also get a shot of the driver's face they can't say who was driving the car - was it the owner, his frined, their son - who can testify to that in court? There have also been reports of yellow lights being shortened in order to increase the number of fines generated. These things are a revenue tool for the State - pure and simple.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 at 06:51 PM in reply to I don't speed but I don't like them
      Very funny. The story is about red light cameras and you don't speed. You need to read the law before you start spouting nonsense. These go to the registered owner of the vehicle. The registered owner can provide proof that they weren't driving, and the fine will be placed on the driver. Also reports of light shortening have been proven false. Anybody can say anything, and it doesn't make it so. Please don't take my word on any of this(I'm laughing at yours) go find out for yourself - PLEASE.
  • by Bill Location: Tally on Dec 1, 2011 at 01:14 PM
    I hope they write all them red light running crybabies. Don't run the red light and you have NOTHING to worry about.
  • by Eric Location: Tallahassee on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:02 AM
    This law still does not address whether or not red light cameras are, in fact, constitutional. I currently have retained a lawyer and am fighting my ticket that I recieved back in May at the intersection of Tennessee & NW Cap Circle. I approached the light, stopped momentarily, seeing that traffic was clear, continued on to make a right hand turn, which in most intersections in town, is legal. The City's Traffic Survey folks have decided, after seeing over a 1,000 such citations per month at that very intersection, to remove it & replace it with a Yield sign. My arguement to the judge is that you cannot replace an actual officer with a red light camera as the basis of a citation. Also, the Equal Protection Clause comes in to play here, as the City initally offers a $170 fine if you pay up right away, but if you choose to go to court, they increase the fine to over $270. This does not happen with a regular traffic citation. This is an obvious ploy to extort money from citizens, and the city has made millions from this unconstitutional arrangement, and splits the proceeds with the company that manufactures them. Obvious conflict of interest.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM in reply to Eric
      so you ignored the no turn on red?
      • reply
        by Chuck on Dec 1, 2011 at 01:13 PM in reply to
        Exactly Anonymous, he thinks the two do not turn on red signs did not apply to him, only to others.
      • reply
        by Eric on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:07 PM in reply to
        Actually, the no turn on red sign was posted WAY back of the intersection, so I did not see it as I approached.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2011 at 04:48 AM in reply to Eric
      How come we can replace an eyewitness(or cop) with a video camera inside a bank(after it is robbed), but not at an intersection? I think the purpose is the same. To identify 2 things. That a violation has happened, and to identify the guilty party. You're making the wrong argument. The argument about identifying the actual driver has already been dealt with.
      • reply
        by Eric on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:10 PM in reply to
        First, the bank is not using it's camera to generate revenue in the form of citations, so you can't compare the two. Secondly, the argument I'm making here is that the red light camera should have never been placed there to begin with, and the Traffic Survey folks seem to have agreed with me after taking it down, after the fact.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM
    1 to that comment, I am glad they are not banning them. People can whine all they want to but bottom line there is a big problem with red light runners and stop sign running.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 at 09:26 AM
    good, people want to do whatever they want with out consequence. Try getting t boned by someone running a redlight. It hurts
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