Appeals court says Oldsmar red light cameras are legal
A second Florida appeals court has sided with communities that use cameras to catch red light runners.
The Second District Court of Appeal today ruled that the City of Oldsmar’s camera program is not an illegal delegation of a law enforcement function to a third party. It follows a similar ruling issued in July in a case filed against the City of Ventura.
But the issue could still be heading to the Florida Supreme Court since the rulings conflict with the 4th District Court of Appeal 2014 ruling that shut down the City of Hollywood’s cameras.
The Oldsmar case was filed by the consortium of South Florida attorneys that successfully challenged Hollywood’s program. They argued that it was illegal because American Traffic Solutions workers did the initial screening of camera video to identify potential.
The three-judge panel said that the Hollywood decision may have been made by a review of the contract language and not the procedure the city used.
It noted that all the cases reviewed by ATS workers for Oldsmar are forwarded to the city where law enforcement officers review them before deciding to issue a $158 citation that can rise to a $264 uniform traffic citation if not paid within 60 days.
“We conclude that under the arrangement between the City and ATS, the power to determine whether a red light violation has occurred and the ultimate decision to issue a notice of violation and a UTC remains with the City,” the opinion states.
In ruling for Ventura, judges from the Third District Court of Appeal called on the Supreme Court to provide a definitive ruling on the controversial traffic safety programs.
The Supreme Court is not obligated to accept the case but typically takes on legal issues where appellate courts have set conflicting legal precedent.