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Red Light Cameras Issuing Traffic Tickets to Jacksonville Drivers in 2013

All motor vehicle drivers in Jacksonville should be on the look out for changes in traffic laws come this new year. If driving through red lights is a habit of yours, you should be especially aware of the Florida Supreme Court’s upcoming decision about legalizing red light traffic tickets. If the Court determines that these tickets are legal, and a traffic camera catches you passing a red light, you may find yourself receiving a traffic citation in the mail with a $158 fine.

The controversy surrounding the law began around 2008 when Aventura, a city located north of Miami, began installing red light cameras at traffic intersections. Who operated these cameras? A private company called American Traffic Solutions (ATS). At the time, these red light traffic violations were not issued as traffic tickets, they were “city code violations.” Motorists who received these “code violations” could only contest these violations at the City Hall. After several lawsuits, a Miami-Dade judge decided in February of 2010 that these “city code violations” were unlawful because they circumvented state traffic laws. Later, a Miami appeals court overturned that decision, finding that these code violations were lawful. But then came the Florida State Legislature’s decision in 2010 to allow local governments to install red light cameras. Now the question remains: what is going to happen to the money pocketed from traffic violators before 2010? The answer hinges on the Florida Supreme Court’s upcoming decision. If the Court determines that the pre-2010 code violations were unlawful, all cities in Florida that issue these “city code violations” would need to return the fine money. That could equal to two years’ worth of issued violations.

A Red Light camera is a device commonly installed near intersections and traffic lights and are used to capture still images of cars that enter an intersection against a red traffic light. Oftentimes, these still images include license plates. These still images become photographic evidence of traffic violation and are given to local law enforcement agencies who review the images. The law enforcement agency who review the photographic evidence will then decide whether a traffic violation occurred. A traffic citation, signed by an issuing police officer, may then be mailed to the owner of the vehicle.

Red Light cameras are nearly installed in all three major intersections of Orange Park and city officials are expecting the cameras to be fully functional come spring of 2013. According to the Florida Times Union, Jacksonville should be expecting its own set of red light cameras come this January. A list of all intersections with proposed red light camera installations can be found at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Yau Law has defended hundreds of traffic tickets, and we work hard to fight that ticket and keep those points off our clients’ driver’s license. Call us today to find out how we can fight your traffic citation!

Article by: Florence Chen

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