Green Light for Brooksville's Red Light Cameras?

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Green Light for Brooksville's Red Light Cameras?

Sun, 11/23/2014 - 16:12
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The City of Brooksville adopted an ordinance authorizing the use of red light cameras within city limits.

The City of Brooksville adopted an ordinance authorizing the use of red light cameras within city limits. When this ordinance passed, the City of Brooksville contracted with SenSys America Inc. to operate and enforce the red light program. Patrick and Shirley Miketinac proposed an amendment to the City of Brooksville Charter that would ban red light cameras and other related devices for detecting traffic violations within city limits. As the amendment is written, it would ban these devices for any current and future use. It would also prevent city council members or other officials from taking any action that would result directly or indirectly with the approval or authorization of traffic violation detection devices. Hernando County Supervisor of Elections certified that the required number of voters signed a request to place the amendment charter on the ballot for the general election in Novemer 2014. The City of Brooksville received this certification and held a meeting to discuss the matter. With input from council members, city attorney and citizens, the city decided to file a declaratory judgment on the legality of the language of the amendment charter claiming that the proposed amendment is “preempted by state law and in conflict with state law.” Circuit Judge Thomas Reineman ruled in favor of the petitioners, the City of Brooksville explaining that the charter amendment attempts to regulate the use of red light cameras which is preempted by the State of Florida. Additionally, if the charter amendment passed, red light cameras would be illegal which the State of Florida had previously made legal. Read the Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgement here. Does the state of Florida make it mandatory to have red light cameras? Absolutely not. They are an option that the state has given to local authorities. The amendment did not improve its legal standing by prohibiting the elected officials from taking any actions that would lead to reinstating the cameras. The law says that we have a choice whether or not to use these cameras. The only way citizens would have a say in if they are implemented or not is through the voting process. They can either vote for an amendment banning their use or vote out the people who want to use them. Citizens were denied the ability to vote on an amendment banning the use of the cameras and it will be another two years before they get another chance to do so.

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