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Challenges to Intersection Camera Rules

Posted on September 27, 2010

Car owners who have had their image snapped at intersections by cameras designed to catch red-light runners are challenging the new rule, according to a report on News4Jax.

When the camera goes off, the owner of the vehicle will receive a ticket and a $158 fine in the mail. Allegedly, drivers took advantage of a yellow light and rushed through an intersection, or completely ran a red-light at a busy intersection. In July, the state decided to mount cameras at Florida’s busy intersections and sent tickets to alleged offenders.

So far, 26 lawsuits have been filed throughout the state. The basic principle of the criminal justice system is that law enforcement has to prove the owner of the vehicle is really at fault. In the case of red-light cameras, there is no witness to the offense such as a law enforcement officer who personally testifies as to what he or she saw.

The argument is that the burden to prove they are innocent falls on the driver, rather than the assumption they are innocent until proven guilty. The owner of an automobile captured by the red-light cameras does not even get a chance to prove he or she was not behind the wheel of the vehicle at the time of the offense.

The National Motorist Association (NMA) objects to the use of photographic devices to issue tickets and argues they can make our roads less safe. The group, which says it believes in rational traffic laws, states that the claims of safety come from companies that sell ticket cameras to municipalities and there is no independent verification that photo enforcement makes our roads safer.

Also, the group says the devices discourage the synchronization of traffic lights, which decrease congestion, pollution and fuel consumption.

Whatever your take is on red light cameras, it is important for all motorists to remember their responsibilities of driving safely. Anyone that has been involved in an accident caused by a negligent driver has legal rights that a Jacksonville car crash lawyer can protect.