Skip to comments.City Stalls For Time, Gets Red Light Camera Rule Changed
Posted on 07/13/2011 1:33:29 AM PDT by Prole
When you were growing up didnt you hate the kids that changed the rules of the game when they were losing? Usually those kids were the bullies and you had to accept it and move on!
But as adults you would think we would have outgrown such behavior. Maybe we have, but somebody at the City of Tallahassee has not!
Tallahassean Todd Twilley recently challenged his red light camera ticket in the local court based on a Florida Department of Transportation rule that stated the timing of the yellow light he was charged with running should have been longer. The City of Tallahassee has been issuing red light camera tickets using shorter yellow lights for turn lanes than thru lanes.
A review of the FDOT traffic manual indicated that Twilleys argument may have merit. This view was confirmed when a city representative, at the initial hearing in traffic court, asked the judge for more time to prepare.
And now this!
It appears that after the hearing in traffic court, the city of Tallahassee indeed recognized the merit in Twilleys argument, but instead of admitting an error and correcting their procedures to be consistent with rules currently in place, the city has literally tried to rewrite history.
(Excerpt) Read more at tallahasseereports.com ...
300 South Adams Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Cities in Florida are finding out that these cameras aren’t the big money makers they thought they would be, especially after deducting their legal bills.
The point that angers me the most in all of this is the fact that the city shortened yellow light times at the intersections which house these cameras.
Many intersections throughout Florida provide 4.3 seconds at yellow, as compared with Tallahassee's 3.3 second rule within their scamera intersections.
It's all massive theft wrapped up in a lie foisted in the name of "public safety."
Looks like the folks in Hialeah have some common sense about it:
And good luck to them.
Here’s the deal. Almost all cities “lease” their cameras (to ensure normal maintenance occurs). This means the company gets “x” amount of money, period....on top of each picture flashed. Each picture cash is guaranteed, whether the city wins in court or not. So if you have a guy who suddenly wins a case or two, and folks start to regularly challenge and win cases....then the city makes zero cash, and the company is actually taking funds out of the city’s back pocket. You really need an aggressive city attorney to fight these cases, because any loss, means a trend that could harm your financial standing.
It doesn’t sound like it will be that easy to show ex post facto. The rule hasn’t been changed. The City asked for an interpretation/clarification of the rule for establishing the timing of lights, as though it was unclear whether the City was allowed to set the yellow time different for left turn lanes vs. thru-lanes. They got a favorable interpretation and now the Judge won’t be able to make an interpretation that might have favored Twilley.
I spent fifteen years in Germany, and watch the trend of “experts” coming out to challenge the cops in court. It’s roughly a fifty percent chance now that you can beat the rap if you drag out one of these “experts” to explain things to the judge. Cops sit in fear now that eventually the whole mobile camera deal will fall apart.
Now, if you go up to the Netherlands....totally different situation. They had every single camera mounted permanently and tested by various engineers. When a guy goes into a Dutch court....it’s a one percent chance that he beats the ticket. Mobile cameras just aren’t set up correctly on each and every case.