State Law Prompts Changes to
Red Light Camera Safety Program
June 27, 2013
New Process Effective July 1 - The City of Tallahassee is preparing to make changes to its Red Light Camera Safety Program in response to House Bill 7125 that was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott earlier this month.
The new law requires that, effective July 1, violators be given 60 days to pay the $158 fine for running a red light. Currently, payment of the fine must be received by the City’s vendor within 30 days of the date the notice of violation was mailed to the vehicle’s owner.
Also, under current state law, a person who has been issued a notice of violation for running a red light at a monitored intersection and wishes to challenge the violation must elect to not pay the fine, which will result in the issuance of a uniform traffic citation. At that point, the violator may request a hearing through the traffic court. The new law requires the establishment of an appeal process through which red light violators have the opportunity to contest notices of violation prior to the issuance of a uniform traffic citation, which carries a $271 fine.
As part of the new procedure, the City will implement a hearing process which will designate a clerk responsible for processing hearing requests and scheduling those hearings before a designated hearing officer. The hearing officer will take testimony, review evidence including photographs and a video recording of the violation, and determine whether to dismiss or uphold the $158 fine. Any appeal of the hearing officer’s decision will be to the circuit court.
Costs for the hearing officer and clerk position will be funded from administrative fees paid by the violators. The fee amount charged to the violator for filing an appeal has not yet been determined but will be commensurate with administrative fees incurred in supporting the appeals process.
"This program has been effective in deterring drivers from running red lights and reducing the risk for serious traffic collisions in our community,” said Rick Courtemanche, Assistant City Attorney. “This new administrative process will double the amount of time violators have to pay their fines and allow anyone who feels they received a violation in error the opportunity to contest it sooner rather than later.”
The City's Red Light Camera Safety Program started on August 1, 2010, and since that time, the city has seen major decreases in violations, as great as 90 percent, compared to before the cameras were installed.
For more information on the program and a complete list of monitored intersections, visit Talgov.com. To receive updates follow @COTTraffic on Twitter and/or sign up for the City’s email subscription service to receive general news releases at Talgov.com.
Rick Courtemanche, City Attorney’s Office, 891-8554; or Alison Faris, Communications Department, 891-8533