Boynton Beach city officials have said they plan to continue taking their red light camera cases to court, at least for now, despite a long-simmering legal battle and questions over the constitutionality of the practice.
The Sun Sentinel reports the city has vowed to continue pursuing these red light camera cases, which cost about $195 in legal fees every time the city takes one to court. The cost of a red light camera ticket is $158. While the city racked up some $5,000 in legal costs related to these tickets just in February, those figures were down to about $3,400 by March. Meanwhile, the city’s income stream has remained steady as people continue to simply pay the tickets in full. The city’s attorney reported there were nearly 5,520 active read light camera cases as of this month, and more than 60 percent of those accused simply pay the tickets without contesting.
To contest one of these tickets, it can take anywhere from half a year to a full 12 months to process.
Although many people choose not to fight traffic tickets, assuming them nothing more than an expensive nuisance, our Fort Lauderdale traffic ticket lawyers recognize there can be penalties beyond the fine for those who don’t mount a challenge. Specifically, you may be looking at higher insurance costs and an increased chance of a license suspension if you get another ticket. Additionally, it can hurt your chances of landing a job that requires any amount of driving.
When it comes to red light cameras in particular, there may be ample grounds on which to assert a challenge.
Last year, city commissioners voted to halt the program starting sometime this year – even after a favorable state appellate court ruling in September. Previously in 2015, a judge dismissed a Hollywood man’s red light camera citation, finding the program violates state law and is unconstitutional because of its reliance on the vendor of the camera. That ruling prompted numerous municipalities to shutter their red light camera program. Boynton Beach was not among those, and city leaders vowed to continue with the program.
However, by the time the appellate court justices reversed the earlier dismissal by the trial court judge, Boynton Beach officials had already vowed to stop the program. Some commissioners said the appellate ruling didn’t change the fact that the cameras hadn’t been effective in deterring dangerous driver behavior.
The matter is likely to be considered by the Florida Supreme Court, which is why Boynton Beach’s mayor said last year that while he still supports the program, he would recommend any city considering starting a similar program to wait until that final decision.
The biggest legal issue appears to be that in some cases, outside private vendors are the ones making the final call on whether alleged violators should receive traffic tickets. Officials in Boynton Beach insist that is not the case in their program, and that all clips are reviewed by uniformed police officers. These changes were made after a 2015 trial court ruling that resulted in hundreds of citations being tossed.
Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Boynton to keep taking red-light camera cases to court – for now, April 3, 2017, By Brooke Baitinger, Sun Sentinel
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