Judge stops red light camera convictions

City continues issuing citations

DAVIE, Fla. - A Broward judge has stopped convicting drivers who are caught on camera running red lights in the Town of Davie, but the town still issuing citations.

Davie police officer Greg Jensen would much rather be on the street, enforcing traffic laws. Instead he spends hours every shift in front of the computer, reviewing red light camera violations.

It's a waste of time because if these offenders fight the violations, and take their case to the judge, the tickets will be dismissed."

Broward Judge Fred Berman has ordered the clerk of courts to dismiss all red light camera tickets issued by the town of Davie after he ruled that Florida's red light camera law is unconstitutional.

"If the judge said he's going to dismiss all the tickets, why are you still writing them?" Local 10's Roger Lohse asked Davie police Capt. Dale Engle.

"Because he's one judge," Engle replied.

Engle explained that traffic magistrates, who handle most of the city's traffic cases, are still convicting red light camera violators. In fact, Berman only hears the few cases in which the offender who specifically asks to see a judge.

Attorney Ted Hollander, with The Ticket Clinic, has been successful getting his Davie cases to Berman, where they are now being summarily dismissed.

He believes the reason Davie is still citing red light camera violators, despite Berman's ruling, is because the town knows most violators will just pay the $158 fine, instead of taking their chances in court.

"I would have to disagree with that," Engle responded to Hollander's claim. "The town's goal in this is to seek compliance. This is a cost-neutral program to the town. We're covering our expenses of the officers reviewing the violations, and compliance is our goal, and we're gaining compliance through this program."

Berman is now the third Broward judge to throw out the state's red light camera law. All three judges are either dismissing their cases or putting them on hold pending the outcome of the state's appeal of those rulings.

Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.