Hollywood red-light ticket cases continued following court ruling

Wednesday's ruling applies to every Fla. city that partners with private company to pre-screen violation videos

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Florida's red light camera law is feeling the heat following Wednesday's appeals court decision.

Alleged violators are catching a break in court as South Florida cities grapple with the question of whether to continue their red-light camera programs.  At red-light camera court in Hollywood Thursday morning, red-light runners were lining up to have their cases continued after the hearing officer explained the appeals court ruling could mean their cases will be soon be dismissed.

"That's awesome, that's the best news I've heard today yet," said one driver as he left the courtroom.

The ruling stems from a Hollywood case, but it affects every city in the state that partners with a private company to pre-screen all of its' violation videos. The appeals court actually reversed its' earlier ruling, and said police can't delegate their police powers to a third party.

"The red light that I ran supposedly was a right turn, and there's no sign that says you can't make a right turn on a red light, so I don't know -- it's great if I don't have to pay it," said driver Crystal Hutchins who felt she was ticketed unfairly.

The ruling won't become final until the city has time to decide if it wants the court to rehear the case.  It has 10 days to do so.  It could also ask the state's Supreme Court to take up the issue. City officials are meeting Friday to discuss their next steps.

For now, local ticket attorneys are telling their clients not to pay their red-light camera tickets, but continue to drive safely.

"Don't start going through red lights every day, saying, 'OK, now we can do it.' This is a very fluid situation," said local traffic ticket defense attorney Scott Kistner.

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