As of December, 49 local governments in Florida had red-light cameras in operation, according to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Justices said a local government could use a private contractor to review images — so long as a city officer makes the ultimate decision on whether to issue a ticket.
Several justices appeared skeptical as that the way a Florida city handles citations issued to motorists caught on camera is unlawful.
The plan, termed a “wind down agreement,” would end the operation of the cameras by March 31 “by mutual agreement.” But Palm Coast would have to pay ATS $16,000 to remove equipment.
State data showing increased crashes at red-light camera intersections adds momentum to the Florida’s latest effort to ban the cameras, but similar attempts have failed in the Senate before.
A new report by the Florida highway safety department shows crash increases that belie claims that red-light cameras have made intersections safer. Palm Coast’s cameras are set to come down this year.
The decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is a reminder that Palm Coast is still not clear of the legal shambles that have surrounded the cameras. That class-action suit can now go forward, with drivers claiming they’d been wrongly fined.
A court upheld Aventura’s program, which relies on police, not the private contractor, to make decisions about ticketing motorists. But the court wants the supreme court to decide the issue more finally.
Sen. Jeff Brandes’ measure would repeal a law known as the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act of 2010 and, as a result, prevent local governments from using the cameras for traffic enforcement.
Palm Coast’s decision not to settle a lawsuit against it had looked like a mistake once the Supreme Court ruled red-light cameras illegal, until the plaintiff died and was not replaced on the lawsuit, allowing the city to slither out of the it.