Red Light Cameras: Two Courts, Two Outcomes

There are two "courts" in which you can challenge your red light camera ticket. The first is the Administrative hearing that you will receive if you respond to either your "Notice of Red Traffic Signal Violation" or "Reminder Notice" from the City of Brooksville. In these hearings, it is very rare for a red light camera ticket to be overturned by the Magistrate.

If you wait through both the "Notice of Red Traffic Signal Violation" and "Reminder Notice" from the City of Brooksville, you will receive a Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC) by Certified Mail. You need to reply to this. You can either challenge this in county court or take this to local lawyer Peyton Hyslop who has a system for challenging right turn on red red light camera tickets.

The steps and what the notices look like are on Peyton Hyslop web site under the link called news. Currently, he is charging $80 to fight right turn on red red light camera violations. In county court, most right turn on red camera violations are dismissed, since the state statute only requires that a turn on red be careful and prudent.
Florida Statute 316.008 Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Program sets up the rules on the Administrative hearing. Mark Wandall was killed by a driver that ran a red light in Bradenton in 2003. This is the same statute that regulates and allows red light cameras.

The administrative hearing is overseen by a magistrate hired by City of Brooksville. When compared to county court this has any different rules of evidence, different costs, and uses the Brooksville City ordinances.

Of these differences the most important is probably the last. Magistrate Warnstadt is bound by the city ordinances which requires a right turn on red to be under 11mph to be careful and prudent. The state statute that is used in county court only requires that a right turn be careful and prudent.

If you lose in the Administrative hearing at the city of Brooksville you can challenge it in "real court," but in that case they can only look at if you received a fair hearing and if the rules were followed. They cannot look at whether there was a violation or not.

Justice is suppose to be blind, but it definitely has different outcomes if you can get to the right venue. In a perfect world this would not be the case, but we live in the real world where if you get a right turn on red, red light camera violation you need to make sure you fight it in county court. At least until October 31, 2016 when the right light camera contract is scheduled to end.

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