Courts & Crime

Florida judge rules against use of red light cameras

In a ruling that could have implications for other cities, a circuit court judge ruled Monday morning that the city of Aventura cannot use cameras to catch red light runners.

The city may appeal the ruling by Circuit Court Judge Jerald Bagley. But if it stays in force, it could set a legal precedent that could be used in suits against red-light camera programs in other cities.

The suit challenging the legality of the program was filed by Hallandale Beach resident Richard Masone. His lawyer, Brett Luskin of the firm Ticket Cricket, argued that state law specifies that only the state Legislature can pass traffic laws, while cities can only regulate traffic issues of local concern, such as parking.

Cities such as Aventura used cameras to cite red light runners with a code violation, instead of a traffic violation. Luskin argued that was merely a way of circumventing the state law and that cities could only issue tickets to red light runners if an officer is present.

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