Red light cameras suffer another legal blow

Judge rules red light camera law unconstitutional

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Broward County court judge has ruled Florida's red light camera law unconstitutional, and it's another sign that the controversial traffic law is on shaky legal ground. 

Broward County court Judge Steven DeLuca's order, signed Thursday, affects vehicles owned by two people, meaning cases where two names are on the registration. 

DeLuca said Florida's red light camera law violates the co-owners' constitutional right to equal protection. 

Fort Lauderdale traffic ticket attorney Ted Hollander argued the case and won. 

"The first person on the registration has 100 percent of the responsibility, and the second person has no responsibility, and that violates the law," Hollander said. 

The ruling isn't binding on other Broward judges or even the magistrates who handle the vast majority of red light camera cases, but Deluca's decision is another chink in the armor of Florida red light camera law, which, Hollander says, is being struck down more frequently by judges across the state for a whole host of reasons. 

"We've been challenging these cases for some time, as you know, and more and more judges are coming on our side, I guess, finding that the law is unconstitutional," Hollander said. 

It's a different story in Miami-Dade County, where the one judge who handles red light camera cases has upheld the law and the magistrates are following suit. 

But in Broward, the rulings have been mixed and violators have a better chance of getting their tickets tossed out. Hollander said it's because some cities don't mind dismissing cases of the few who choose to fight 

"And the reality is the camera companies and the cities know that most people are just going to pay the money initially and they're going to get their money, and that may be their ultimate goal," he said. 

Two other Broward judges have struck down the state's red light camera law, and those rulings are being appealed by the state. If a circuit court judge upholds those rulings, all Broward traffic judges and magistrates will be bound by it.

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