Florida County Court Ruling Affirms Constitutionality of Red-Light Camera Law

Contact: Charles Territo
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Tempe, AZ – A Florida County Court Judge has rejected a constitutional challenge to the state’s red-light camera statute in a lawsuit filed by 14 people who sought to have their red-light running tickets dismissed.

In her ruling, Palm Beach County Court Judge Daliah H. Weiss, of Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit, found that Florida’s red-light camera enabling legislation, formally known as the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, is “compliant with due process and guarantees equal protection.”

The judge denied all seven legal challenges in the lawsuit. In her July 2 ruling, the judge found:

  • When using red-light cameras to issue red-light running tickets, authorities do not violate a person’s equal protection under the law, because the provisions of the Wandall Act are related to a legitimate state interest of public safety.
  • The Wandall Act does not wrongly shift the burden of proof onto the defendant. The act defines red-light running violations as a civil offense and holds the registered owner of the vehicle responsible for the citation. Even if the vehicle owner chooses to shift responsibility for the violation to the actual driver of the car, the city is not released from its burden to prove the owner’s vehicle ran the red light.
  • The agreement between the City of Boca Raton and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) complies with Florida law because its payment structure is based on a flat monthly fee, and not on the number of citations issued. The court noted that the ATS/Boca Raton agreement, which includes a cost neutrality provision, is written to “ensure the City will not lose money on operation of the red light camera infraction system.”

Judge Weiss’ decision marks the latest in an expansive list of state and federal court decisions that affirm the constitutionality of red-light cameras and defend cities’ use of cameras and the processes they follow to issue violations.

“Once again, the Wandall Act has withstood a challenge to its constitutional integrity. This law is sound and serves an important public interest. Stopping on red truly does save lives, and the Wandall Act helps make this happen in Florida,” said George Hittner, ATS General Counsel. “It is high time for Plaintiffs’ attorneys to stop wasting judicial resources with their frivolous lawsuits and instead, encourage their would-be clients to obey traffic laws.”

View the the orders here:

 

 

About American Traffic Solutions:

ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America and in Florida. ATS has more than 3,000 installed red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS has contracts in nearly 300 communities in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including more than 70 cities in Florida. For more information, please visit: atsol.com or www.PlatePass.com. To view video that serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers that red-light runners present to our family and children; visit ATS on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATSRoadSafety.

July 18th, 2013|