Amicus Filed in Support of Florida Red-Light Safety Camera Programs

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL — An amicus brief has been filed on behalf of supporters of Florida’s Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act. The brief, signed by The Florida League of Cities, several other Florida municipalities, individuals, hospitals and non-profit organizations, and providers of traffic safety solutions, was filed in response to a recent ruling by Florida’s Fourth District Court Appeal in the case of City of Hollywood v. Arem. 

The amicus contests the Fourth District’s finding that Hollywood wrongly delegated its legal authority to issue traffic violations to a private, for-profit third party. The brief argues that Florida’s red-light safety camera law approves the use of sworn officers, non-sworn government employees and contractors to be involved in different steps in the process, and that only the municipality and not the vendor decides who will be prosecuted. Additional arguments in the brief include:

  • When it enacted the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, the Florida Legislature acted to improve the safety of the roadways.
  • When the Florida Legislature enacted the legislation to authorize the red light cameras, they did so knowing and acknowledging the current procedures being utilized by the various municipalities. The legislature intended that those procedures continue.
  • The Court’s second opinion, released in October, improperly concluded that the municipalities illegally delegated their police powers. As is explained in the brief, the municipalities did not delegate their police power and at all times the municipalities controlled the process.

“Because municipalities retain control over whether to issue a traffic citation, the municipalities are not improperly delegating their police power,” the brief states.

According to the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), fatal crashes at red-light safety camera intersections on state roads have been reduced by 49% resulting in an estimated 18 lives saved.  Additionally, the average number of red-light safety camera violations issued per camera, per month, in Florida has fallen by more than 40%.

The signers to the amicus brief are united in their call for the Fourth District’s ruling to be reversed. All agree that Florida Legislature passed the Wandall Act as a force for public safety and with the full understanding that vendors could be used to conduct ministerial functions of red-light safety camera programs without municipalities surrendering their police authority.

Along with The Florida League of Cities, additional amicus brief signers include: Amici Curiae; the City of Apopka; the City of Aventura; the Town of Davie; the City of Florida City; the City of Gulfport; the City of Haines City; the City of Homestead; the City of Lakeland; the City of Miami; the City of Miami Gardens; the City of Milton; the City of North Miami Beach; the City of Ocoee; the City of South Pasadena; The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center for Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis; Melissa Wandall; Former State Rep. Ron Reagan; American Traffic Solutions, Inc.; and Gatso USA, Inc.

 

December 19th, 2014|