LawCall - Traffic Camera

Should a third-party be allowed to issue a traffic ticket if you run a red light? These days, almost everything is automated, and it seems Big Brother really is watching us wherever we go.

The issue was put to the test recently in Florida, where a human court decided that automated law enforcement is not enforceable, at least in Florida.

Private owners of the red-light cameras were the ones sending out tickets to those who ran red lights. Thankfully, the Fourth District Court of Florida ruled that:

“The city is not authorized to delegate police power by entering into a contract that allows a private vendor to screen data and decide whether a violation has occurred before sending that data to a traffic infraction enforcement officer to use as the basis for authorizing a citation.”

This actually happened to a man in Hollywood, Florida, who first lost his court battle, but then won, on appeal. The court further stated that, “Dismissal of the citation is the appropriate remedy where a private third party effectively decides whether a traffic violation has occurred and a citation should be issued.”

The culprit: American Traffic Solutions, which bills itself as the leading provider of what we may call, “nanny cams”. Apparently, the company has more than 3,000 systems in cities in the United States and Canada.

The big question is about the money. Are these cameras just money-makers for municipalities, or do they actually make our roadways safer?

An Ohio judge last year said that speed cameras are nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty. The National Motorists Association says they actually increase the number of accidents.

In one Florida town residents are up in arms because a camera was placed right outside of a hospital emergency room.

What say you? Are you sick and tired of cameras watching your every move? What would you do if you received a ticket from a “nanny cam”?

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