Red Light Cameras are supposed to reduce accidents at busy intersections. In
St. Petersburg they have run into a troubling problem. What happens when someone else is driving your car and they get their picture taken running a red light? Well, the system captures the car that broke the law, not the person. The owner of the car is mailed a ticket for $158 for the violation. If the owner claims via affidavit that someone else, say a friend, was driving the vehicle then a second ticket is issued to the actual claimed driver for $264. And herein lies the flaw…The actual driver is given no chance to appeal the higher fine, all based on the affidavit by the car owner.
The City Clerk in St. Pete is dealing with an inordinate number of complaints from its citizens regarding the unfair practice. It is a misdemeanor to file a false affidavit, but the time the City is spending investigating the claims far outweighs the revenues generated by the cameras. Mayor Bill Foster of St. Pete announced last week that City Officials plan to dismiss red-light camera citations in cases where car owners file legal paperwork saying they were not behind the wheel when their vehicle was snapped running a red light.
No one likes getting a ticket. But a ticket for an extra $100 with virtually no chance of appeal is especially unfair. Credit the City of St. Pete for recognizing the problem and eliminating the problem for now. If you feel you have been unfairly ticketed for a traffic violation or automobile accident, contact an expert who can help protect your rights.