Judge lets off red-light-running rental car drivers

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Broward County Circuit Court judge issued a ruling that lets rental car drivers off the hook if they're caught running a red light by a camera.

"We're seeing it every day, every time we're on the docket," said attorney Ted Hollander with The Ticket Clinic.

Hollander said rental car drivers are typically unaware if they're captured on camera running a red light until they receive a $260 traffic citation.

The first notice of violation, which a driver can pay without penalty to his driving record, is sent to the rental car company.

"If you rent a vehicle, you're not given the same opportunity to pay the violation and have it disappear," said Hollander. "The rental car companies file an affidavit saying you had the car at the time and therefore, you're not given the same opportunity. You're given the second ticket, which is more money and can go on your record forever."

Judge Stephen Deluca recently ruled it's unfair that rental car drivers don't get a chance to pay the cheaper fine and decided to throw their tickets out.

"It shows you that the statute really wasn't written [well] and is treating our citizens unfairly," said Hollander.

It's unclear if other judges will follow Deluca's ruling.

American Traffic Solutions, which manages the red light cameras in most South Florida cities, has appealed.

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