City of Hollywood not giving up fight for red-light cameras
City asks 4th District Court of Appeals to reconsider last week's ruling, send question to state Supreme Court
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The city of Hollywood is not giving up its fight to use cameras to catch red-light runners.
It will ask the Fourth District Court of Appeals to either reconsider last week's ruling that said its red-light camera program violates the state's constitution, or send the question to the state's Supreme Court.
Last week, a three-judge panel of appellate judges said the city can't use a private company to pre-screen video and pictures of suspected violations. The court said determining which red-lights runners should be cited is a police power that cannot be delegated to a third party.
The case affects almost every city in the state that uses red-light cameras because nearly every one of them partners with a third party to manage their programs. An Arizona company called American Traffic Solutions is the largest provider of that service to cities in Florida.
The cameras have been touted as an a important traffic safety measure by supporters, but opponents claim cities only use them to generate revenue.
Despite last week's ruling, in which the court reversed itself from a previous decision, Hollywood city leaders instructed the city attorney to keep fighting the issue.
According to city spokeswoman Raelin Storey, the city attorney will ask the court one of three things -- to have the three-judge panel rehear the case, to have all 12 appeals court judges consider the case, or ask the court to send the case to the state Supreme Court for it to review. The city attorney has not yet decided which question to ask.
For now, cities are still issuing red-light camera violation notices and they are still accepting money from violators who pay the fine. But Fort Lauderdale red-light camera ticket attorney Ted Hollander, who filed the case, advises violators not to pay the fine. He's telling his clients to wait until they receive a uniform traffic citation in the mail and then request a hearing before a judge.
At this point, all red-light camera citations in the Fourth District, which comprises of Palm Beach and Broward Counties, are being put on hold by the lower court judges until the issue is resolved.
If the appeals judges deny the request for a rehearing or send it to the Supreme Court, their ruling will become law and the cities will be forced to either shut their camera programs down or reallocate police personnel so that an officer or police official can conduct the initial review of the violation videos.
The city has 15 days from last week's ruling to make its request.
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