Tallahassee, Florida - June 8, 2011 -
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office plans to appeal a Broward County judge’s ruling that said tickets issued by police officers for running a red light are unconstitutional because the fine is higher than that levied when a driver is ticketed by a red light camera. The odd ruling by Broward County Court Judge Fred Berman on May 31 said that police couldn’t issue red light running tickets because the higher fine – more than $250 compared to $158 for those caught by a camera – violates the equal protection clause. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday that cities in Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, said their officers will continue to issue citations for now, even though they could be thrown out. Fort Lauderdale City Attorney Harry Stewart told the Sun-Sentinel he believed the judge misapplied state law. A police officer who issues a ticket for running a red light is giving it to the driver, whereas red-light camera citations are given to the owner of a vehicle. Jennifer Krell Davis, a spokeswoman for Bondi, said the AG will appeal the ruling.