Does the law support the use of Road Safety Cameras?

  • Multiple court systems throughout the United States have upheld the legality of road safety technology.
  • There is no presumption of guilt in a ticket is issued from camera-based evidence. A citation is a summons. All people who receive a citation for running a red light have the opportunity to contest their ticket, just as they can with a traditional traffic ticket.
  • This technology is a tool available to law enforcement to ensure that drivers are in compliance with traffic laws while using public streets.
  • Court Opinions:
    • In 2010, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that speed cameras in Akron, Ohio, did not violate due process, stating, “As the district court found, the ordinance provides for notice of the citation, an opportunity for a hearing, provision for a record of the hearing decision, and the right to appeal an adverse decision. We agree with the district court that the ordinance and its implementation, as detailed in the stipulations, satisfy due process.” Source: Mendenhall v. City of Akron, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., (American Traffic Solutions – Intervenor) U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. No. 09-3061 (6th Cir. March 29, 2010).
    • The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the due process argument in 2009 and found Road Safety Cameras did not violate the constitutional right of due process. “Substantive due process depends on the existence of a fundamental liberty interest … and no one has a fundamental right to run a red light or avoid being seen by a camera on a public street,” the court wrote.
      Source: Idris v. City of Chicago, Illinois. 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Jan. 5, 2009. No. 08-1363.
    • According to the 2009 ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, “No one has a fundamental right to run a red light or avoid being seen by a camera on a public street.”
      Source: Idris v. City of Chicago, Illinois. 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Jan. 5, 2009. No. 08-1363.
    • The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with the idea that cameras cannot be used to discourage red-light running. “Interest in evading the law cannot create standing – a plaintiff’s complaint that the defendant’s actions will make his criminal activity more difficult lacks standing because his interest is not legally protected,” the court wrote in 2010.
      Source: Bell v. American Traffic Solutions, Inc. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, March 23, 2010. No. 09-10722.
    • In Katz v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court explained there are limits to one’s legal right to privacy. The court wrote, “What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection.”
      Source: Katz v. United States, 389 US 347, 351 (1967).
February 25th, 2015|