TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Plaintiffs in lawsuits against red-light traffic cameras in Florida towns say the devices violate the principle of uniform traffic laws.
The cameras -- designed to catch red-light scofflaws -- have not received legislative authorization, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday. Lawsuits cite a 2005 opinion from Gov. Charlie Crist, then the state attorney general, which said municipalities have the right to identify drivers who run red lights but tickets could not be handed out based on photographs until state law is changed.
Pembroke Pines, which asked Crist for the opinion, installed its first cameras last year and began handing out citations in March. Several other cities and towns have followed suit.
With tickets for running red lights coming to as much as $125, and possibly more for repeat offenders, the cameras can be major moneymakers. Fort Lauderdale, which is planning to install cameras, has estimated the take at $1.8 million after paying the contractor's cut.
Lawyers argue the cameras violate the principle that the lawbreaking driver is supposed to get the ticket. Because tickets are handed out based only on the license plate number, the owner of the vehicle gets the ticket no matter who was behind the wheel.