Waiting game for red light cases
Jeff SchmuckerBROOKSVILLE - Motions have been filed arguing that red light camera images and videos are inadmissible as evidence, but now it's up to a judge to determine whether they have any merit.
Published: December 5, 2012
Published: December 5, 2012
Hanging in the balance is not just eight drivers who received red light camera tickets, but whether a standard could be set with traffic judges within Brooksville.
During traffic court Monday before Judge Donald Scaglione, Attorney Peyton Hyslop filed motions primarily arguing that red light cameras fail to show whether the vehicle owner is the driver who commits the traffic infraction, since they cannot show who the drivers are.
He was representing eight clients, all of whom received red light camera tickets in Brooksville based on the devices capturing vehicles turning right on red.
He added objections to the process of delivering the tickets, claiming police aren't able to verify that notification of the traffic infractions are received because the camera vendor does it instead.
During the proceedings, police officers read prepared statements and outlined the process of how the pictures and footage are collected and tickets mailed out to drivers. An attorney with the Hogan Law Firm — representing the city — assisted them while never making arguments or motions.
However, Scaglione said early in the proceedings he wasn't going to issue a ruling during the proceedings and would first review all evidence and arguments, making clear that although he collected copies of photos and videos, they weren't being submitted as evidence.
Hyslop said now it's just a waiting game to see what happens.
"I think we did OK. I'm very optimistic," Hyslop said. "All it takes is for him to grant one of any of my objections."
Hyslop's arguments were successful when made before Judge Kurt Hitzemann, when dealing with two cases. This is the first time he issued the arguments before Scaglione.
In 2010, lawmakers backed a bill that allowed for the cameras statewide, along with an increase in ticket costs to violators from $125 to $158, with the state taking a cut of $83.
The cameras are installed at intersections and typically capture a driver's license plate number and provide video showing the offense — either a driver going through an intersection while the light is red or improperly turning right on red without stopping.
Having backed away from using red light cameras that same year, in 2011, Brooksville City Council members approved bringing back the traffic cameras.
Efforts for camera enforcement to be in full swing have been slowed while officials have been waiting for the Florida Department of Transportation to approve all the camera locations.
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