Red light cameras are often at the center of debate. Do they prevent car accidents or do they force drivers to make sudden stops which, in turn, cause more car accidents? Well, they are now the center of a new lawsuit.
According to Bay News 9, a group of 17 attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the city of Tampa and the company it contracts to run its red-light program. The lawsuit seeks all red light tickets in Tampa since 2011 to be thrown out. Attorney Stephen Rosenthal, the co-lead counsel for the attorneys filing suit, said the city is breaking the law because ATS – not Tampa police – are monitoring the cameras and issuing the citations.
Citing the Tampa Bay Times, the Bay News 9 report states that since 2011 drivers in Tampa have paid out $11 million in red-light camera fines. Of that amount, about $4 million has gone to the city while the remaining $7 million was paid to Automatic Traffic Solutions, the company that reviews video footage and issues tickets for red light violations. That’s a pretty big check to a non-law enforcement company for law enforcement-related work.
If you ask Tampa police if they believe the red light cameras are helping, they would say the program is effective at stopping drivers from running red lights and cite that the number of red-light tickets issued by police fell 33 percent from 2012 to 2014. The City Attorney apparently agrees and tells Bay News 9 that the red-light camera program will be vigorously defended.
Personally, I have never received a red-light camera ticket, but I know many people who have. Only a very few percentage of those people believe that they did not run the red light. I don’t have a problem with the red light cameras and the issuance of the tickets. However, ticket revenue should go back into the community. A $7,000,000.00 paycheck to an outside agency that does not go back into the community seems odd to me.
Whether or not we have red light cameras or not, drive safely and watch out for those who don’t!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the personal injury law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.