Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Red Light Cameras in Florida

State's Cut of Red Light Camera Money
In 2015 the state of Flordia made a lot of money from red light cameras. About 963,000 tickets were issued, $158 per ticket, costing car owners $152 million.  The state's cut of the loot was $54 million.

Tampa's Cameras
Tampa has around 57 cameras at 22 intersections. In 2015 the city made $680,000, The red light camera provider, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) out of Arizona, got $2.3 million. Each camera cost the city, from it's share of the loot, about $4,200 per month, or around $50,000 per year.

Red Light Camera Class-Action Lawsuits in the Courts
In 2014 Tampa was included in 70 government agencies named in a class-action lawsuit to reimbursement drivers, they want their money back. The lawsuit is based on a judgement by the 4th District Court of Appeals that ruled the city of Hollywood could NOT USE A PRVATE COMPANY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNCTIONS. Hollywood had to take down the cameras.

Tampa opted out of the class-action to be sued in Hillsborough County. City Attorney Julia Mandell stated 2 staff attorneys have already spent 100's of hours on the case. The lawsuit cost is taking money away from more productive uses.

Attorneys on all sides are waiting for the results of a test case filed by a motorist against the city of Oldsmar in the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Conflicting Court Rulings
The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled on July 27th that Hollywood's red light cameras were legal, going against the 4th District's ruling. The 3rd District court also requested the state supreme court to review the matter. The court may or may not here the case. In the meantime red light camera legality remains a question in Flordia.

Tampa wants Red Light Camera Provider to Assume More Legal Cost.
Tampa officials want their red light camera provider, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), to cover more of any legal cost in a new contract. The city wants ATS to provide more legal representation, and do more to reduce or eliminate city losses from legal challenges. ATS had no comment.

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