BRADENTON, Fla. — A lawsuit filed Tuesday against the city of Bradenton alleges red light cameras installed at two intersections are unconstitutional.
"They are citing the owner as opposed to the driver, which is one of the constitutional issues raised," West Palm Beach-based attorney Jason Weisser said, referring to the 20-page complaint. "They are shifting the burden of proof, which is another big issue. Rather than innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty and you have to prove you are innocent," said Weisser, who has filed 18 similar suits against several other municipalities across the state.
The lawsuit, which also names the camera companies as part, was brought by a woman who was issued a citation.
In August, the first camera was installed at the corner of Manatee Avenue and First Street. On Tuesday, the city had three working cameras with two at Manatee and First Street and a third at Ninth Street East and Seventh Avenue East.
The cameras snap two pictures during a violation, showing the license plate as well as the vehicle. Video footage also is captured.
Weisser said people don't have the opportunity to face their accuser and citations are issued days later.
"These infractions are issued 10 days after. People don't remember when they were out and who was driving. People don't even remember what they were having for dinner 10 days ago," Weisser said.
Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said the citations are similar to being issued a parking ticket in which a driver doesn't have to be present.
"Don't you know who you lend your car to? I know. I think most people know who they loan their cars to," he said. "The owner is ultimately responsible."
Read more at Bradenton.com