I go to court on a lot of red light camera cases. People fight these tickets for many different reasons. They may not have been the driver of the vehicle. They don’t believe they ran a red light. There may have been a compelling reason for running the light, perhaps avoiding an accident. They didn’t receive proper notice that they had a ticket, as well as various other issues.
When an officer pulls someone over for running a red light, there is identification of both the officer and the driver, and everyone is there to remember and testify about the incident. However with a red light camera, the cameras are located here in the Central Florida, but they are being monitored by a company in Phoenix, Arizona. When a red light camera ticket is issued, it is usually close to 60 days after the incident, and you never even see the person issuing the ticket.
This random person in Arizona, who is not a law enforcement officer, spends their day monitoring video after video of traffic light footage from all over the country. If they see a video they believe shows a vehicle running a red light they issue a traffic citation to the registered owner of the vehicle, not necessarily the person actually driving. They are issuing tickets for an intersection they may have never actually seen, in a state they may have never actually been to.
At the time the citation is issued by that person in Arizona, a local officer will review the video. This officer was not there to witness the activity and has no idea who was actually driving the vehicle or what circumstances may have lead to this. At hearing there is no one to testify to the reliability of the camera or to testify to how it is calibrated or maintained. There is inadmissible data on the footage itself that the state is currently using to convict drivers on these cases. This data amounts to digital hearsay and should not be used against you.
If you want to know more about red light camera issues in Central Florida, watch my interview on WESH2 News on Tuesday May 21 at 5pm, or call me at 407-205-2929.