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Red Light Camera Update: The Supremes Have Spoken

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

On May 3, 2018, the Florida Supreme Court entered an opinion finding the red light camera system is valid.

Specifically, the Supremes held that the red light system as set forth in the Third District case, Jimenez v. State of Florida, is valid: Supreme Court Jimenez Opinion

Overall, this is pretty bad news for RLC opponents, who had hoped the Supreme Court would find that RLCs are not valid.

However, there is a silver lining, which is that the facts of Jimenez (and the Trinh case also mentioned in the opinion) are case specific. That is, in those cases, the RLC company was expressly identified in the contract as an agent of the municipality.

There are many RLC contracts in Florida that do the exact opposite: the contracts expressly state that the RLC company is not an agent of the municipality.

Therefore, in order to succeed on an RLC challenge under Jimenez, the specific contract of the municipality in question must be reviewed to see if the RLC company is an agent or not.

If they are not identified as an agent, then the RLC program for that municipality is invalid under the Mark Wandall Statute which provides that “[This] does not prohibit a review of information from a traffic infraction detector by an authorized employee or agent of the department, a county, or a municipality before issuance of the traffic citation by the traffic infraction enforcement officer.” s.316.0083(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (emphasis added).

Also, the Jimenez opinion does not expressly overturn the City of Hollywood v. Arem decision holding the RLC system in that municipality invalid.

Altogether, opponents of RLCs are left fighting the system on a municipality-by-municipality basis until the legislature steps in to change the law.

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