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Circuit court judge has red-light camera traffic violation dismissed

Judge Dennis Craig of the Seventh Circuit Court in Bunnell was recently forced to defend himself in court over a traffic ticket issued by a red-light camera. What is interesting about the case is that the arguments Craig made in order to have the citation dismissed are similar to what critics of red-light cameras have said. Ultimately, it was the evidence that mattered in the case—the fact that the video footage showed that Craig was not the one behind the wheel at the time the picture was taken.

As some readers know, red-light cameras have been in use in various municipalities since 2010, when they began to be permitted in Florida. Daytona Beach is among the local governments that utilize red-light cameras. Those in favor of using red-light cameras to handle routine traffic violations point to improved safety at intersections due to the deterrent effect. Critics have always been skeptical of this claim, though, and the evidence only supports a decrease in fatalities, not a decrease in the total number of intersection accidents. 

There have been some attempts to have the state’s red-light camera law repealed, but those have failed to date. That being said, certain restrictions have been placed upon the use of these devices, mostly with respect to data reporting and the use of money obtained from fines.

Most traffic violations are not considered to fall within the category of serious crimes, but it is still important for those cited with traffic violations to take them seriously as they can end up tarnishing one’s record and eating into one’s wallet. For particularly challenging cases, it can help to work with an experienced attorney who understands the court system and how to best minimize the consequences of such charges.

Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Seeing red on intersection cameras,” March 26, 2014. 

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