Red light cameras have been a hot-button issue across the country in the last few years. There’s been a lot of debate about the legality of these devices and whether or not they violate individual privacy. Before they were removed in 2010, thousands of residents and visitors received traffic tickets in Houston because of the red light cameras. However, these devices are still in use throughout the state. Keep reading for more on the camera controversy and what you should do if you get a ticket.
Florida Fights Back
Red light cameras were popping up all over the state of Florida, upsetting residents and tourists alike. In most cases, cities that used red light cameras found that they couldn’t legally enforce imposed fines from traffic cameras. Most cities used a private, third-party security company to install and maintain traffic cameras as well as review footage and issues tickets. Vigilant citizens took note this fact and usually refused to pay the fines. In 2014, judges in Hollywood, Florida, finally considered the legality of the traffic cameras as more citizens refused to pay fines issued by third-party security companies. The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Florida ruled that it’s unconstitutional to delegate police power to a private sector security vendor. These powers included screening data, vehicle registration records, and personal information of citizens as well as issuing fines on behalf of the state government.
Fighting Your Red Light Ticket
If you’re caught by a red light camera in one of the remaining cities that still use them, there are several ways to fight your ticket. First, ask yourself if you were the person driving at the time of the alleged violation. If you let a friend use your car that day, most states will allow you to sign an affidavit saying that you were not driving when the photo was taken. If they have a front-facing photo of you in the car, there’s no use fighting that battle unless the photo is too blurry to be definitive. Another defense that many traffic lawyers take is questioning whether or not the device was working properly when the photo was taken. This approach will require a evidence presented by the company that maintains the cameras. If they fail to show and present their evidence, it’s possible that the judge will dismiss the case. If you get a traffic ticket in Houston or another city in Texas with red light cameras, always consult a legal professional on the best course of action.