Justices to settle red light camera clashby John Kennedy | November 7th, 2013
More than two dozen cities violated state law by installing red light cameras to catch errant motorists in the years before the devices were approved by the Legislature, the Florida Supreme Court was told Thursday.
Millions of dollars in fines collected from drivers before 2010 are at stake in the case, which pivots around whether Aventura and Orlando could create what attorneys for the cities said was a “parallel system” that did not conflict with the state’s uniform traffic laws.
Attorneys for a pair of motorists charged with running red lights urged justices to reject the cities’ argument.
“You can’t call an apple an orange and say it’s the same thing,” said Andrew Harris, a West Palm Beach lawyer representing Richard Masone, who was ticketed in Aventura in 2009.
The Third District Court of Appeal upheld Aventura’s authority to ticket Massone, going along with the city’s argument that the action was within its power to issue code infractions.
Only a few months later, the Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled the city of Orlando was wrong to ticket Michael Udowhychenko in 2009, because the red light cameras were installed before state law expressly allowed them.
The high court has been brought in to resolve the conflict.