Running red lights has become epidemic in this area of rush, rush, rush. Now, after a monthlong warning period, photographs from cameras that catch drivers who do not come to full stops will be used to send civil penalties to the owner of the vehicle. A second offense is $250.
"The word has gotten around and our roads are safer since the cameras went in," Mayor Mort Levine said.
The cameras snap a picture of the vehicle's license plate if the driver does not come to a complete stop. A video of the vehicle is also recorded. The driver is not photographed. Supporters of the cameras say they will increase driver safety. Opponents say they are a cash cow for revenue-starved communities.
Referring to a court ruling last month in Aventura in Miami-Dade County that said the cameras are illegal, Juno Beach Councilman Jim Lyons said the town is opening itself for financial problems. The ruling does not effect Palm Beach County. "If the cameras are determined to be illegal, the cameras could turn out costly to the town," he said.
The Juno Beach cameras are paid for by Georgia-based LaserCraft, a firm that also maintains a white speed van in the town and mails the citations. The infraction is a civil penalty and does not go on a driver's record. The infraction is sent to the owner of the vehicle.
West Palm Beach issued its first $125 fine on Feb. 21, becoming the first municipality in Palm Beach County to implement a red-light camera system.
The legal issues are far from settled in Florida, where red-light cameras are operating or planned in dozens of communities. An appeal in Aventura could take months, while cases in other cities move ahead. Eventually, the state's Supreme Court might be called on to resolve the issue. Camera vendors and cities want state lawmakers to help clarify the law.
I find the idea of a legal challenge preposterous. If you don't run red lights, you have nothing to worry about. Many of the loudest opponents say "It's an invasion of privacy". Beg your pardon, there is nothing in the Fourth Amendment about a right to privacy. Or the other complaint, "Why should I get the ticket if I'm not driving"? Then just collect the money from the person that was driving, there are no points added to your license.
These cameras will make this an even better place to live! Check out the real estate market over at my website http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ or www.youtube.com/richardsites. Then, send along to a friend.