Hundreds of red-light camera tickets issued by ATS, the private company running Palm Coast’s red-light camera system, end up undelivered, triggering court-issued citations and, often, suspended licenses, even though it’s neither the driver’s nor the city of Palm Coast’s fault–but rather ATS’s inability or unwillingness to better follow through on undelivered mail.
circuit court judge dennis craig
After a hearing on red-light camera citations where Palm Coast was, inappropriately, a no-show, Flagler County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens on Wednesday ordered the city to show why it was circumventing the court’s authority by telling drivers they could settle their camera citations by directly paying the city rather than follow legally required steps–and pay fines–through the court system.
In a half-hour hearing before Palm Coast’s red-light violations officer, Flagler Circuit Judge Dennis Craig on Thursday ridiculed the city’s guilty-until-proven-innocent standard as well as the council’s claim that cameras are intended to improve safety. The city dismissed his citation not on the grounds he raised, but by inventing a case of “prudent” driving that the evidence did not show.