Courts & Crime

Bradenton facing red-light camera lawsuit

BRADENTON — City officials might soon be in court defending the use of cameras to combat motorists running red lights at one of Bradenton’s busiest intersections.

A West Palm Beach attorney plans to add Bradenton to the list of cities throughout Florida his firm will sue, he said Monday, claiming the use of cameras to fine drivers is a violation of motorists’ constitutional rights.

In just two weeks, about 30 drivers have been issued $125 citations for running red lights at First Street and Manatee Avenue West, according to Bradenton Police Department Sgt. Brian Thiers.

The cameras take two pictures of a vehicle and its license plate if it enters the intersection after the light turns red. A video of the infraction is taken, as well.

Thiers reviews the footage to confirm a violation has occurred and, if so, approves a citation. Using the image of the license plate to search a state driver's license database, a citation is then sent to the owner of the vehicle.

Thiers said he has been reviewing eight or nine possible infractions each work day.

Motorists can appeal a citation within 21 days to the city’s code enforcement board, which will consider defense arguments from vehicle owners. One example: someone else was driving at the time of the violation.

Read the complete story at bradenton.com

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