Forget speeding. Forget toll violations. In the Orlando and Central Florida area, it seems that public enemy number 1 for drivers are those pesky red light cameras. It has been this way for some time now. Many drivers and attorneys believe that red light cameras are operated unlawfully throughout the entire state of FL.
Now the Florida Court of Appeals has reversed a decision that was handed down nearly six months ago. Why did they reverse this decision? How did they come to change their minds? Thanks to a driver who challenged a $158 “red light camera” ticket, one of the most controversial issues regarding these violations came to light.
It’s only a matter of time before “Red Light Cameras” go away. What started out as a noble idea, is now a complete nuisance.
According to Judge Mark W. Klingensmith…
“For the reasons set forth herein, we… find that the city is not authorized to delegate police power by entering into a contract that allows a private vendor to screen data and decide whether a violation has occurred before sending that data to a traffic infraction enforcement officer (TIEO) to use as the basis for authorizing a citation. Such outsourcing to a third-party for-profit vendor of a city’s statutorily mandated obligation to issue uniform traffic citations for red light camera violations is contrary to the plain wording of the Florida statutes.”
“For all practical purposes, it is the vendor that decides which cases the TIEO gets to review; it is the vendor who initially determines who is subject to prosecution for a red light violation; it is the vendor that obtains the information necessary for the completion of the citation; it is the vendor that creates the actual citation; it is the vendor that issues the citation to the registered owner of the vehicle; and, it is the vendor that eventually transmits the traffic citation data to the court,” Judge Klingensmith wrote. “Although the city may have some input into who eventually is prosecuted, that decision is wholly dependent upon the vendor’s initial determination.”