July 10, 2012 -
An appeals court has ruled that Orlando's red-light camera ordinance conflicts with state law, setting up a potential case for the Florida Supreme Court. The 5th District Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a lower-court decision that declared the ordinance invalid. It ruled against Orlando and Lasercraft Inc., a company that installed the cameras aimed at cracking down on drivers who do not stop at red lights. The ruling said, for example, that the ordinance conflicted with state traffic laws because it allows city code-enforcement officers to review photos and help determine whether infractions have occurred. As another example, it said hearings are conducted by attorneys appointed by the city. Michael Udowychenko challenged the ordinance after getting cited for running a red light in 2009 and taking the matter to a hearing officer. The appeals court said its ruling differs from an opinion issued last year by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in an Aventura case and took a step known as "certifying" the issue, which can lead to the Supreme Court considering it.