The Smell of Red Light Camera Companies

March 4, 2013
I have been fighting red light camera tickets since 2010. Over the last two years it has become clear that there some very disturbing things going on with the red light camera cases and specifically the companies that have installed them.
Before I go too far into this post I want to make sure my position is clear. Running red lights is one of the most hazardous things a person can do. The main cause for running a red light is speed - not texting or any other politically correct target of the day - it is speed. When a person drives over the speed limit they all think the amber light has been shortened to accommodate more camera tickets. It's not the time of the amber, it is the speed of the vehicle.
Additionally, the cities and counties that are fighting to push these tickets through are just trying to do what is right, what they believe is their job to do. They are doing nothing wrong in the prosecution of these cases. However, they need to start looking at what the red light camera companies are trying to do. They need to start looking at the documentation that the companies are trying to pass off as legitimate business records.

Fabrication of Business Records

To any attorney defending clients from the red light camera citations it soon becomes clear that something fishy is going on with the documents produced by the red light camera companies. Defending these citations has always just been objecting to the form of the document. What is being asked to be introduced as a business record or public record has to meet certain criteria (a predicate must be laid). So far, the predicate has not been put before the court. The cities keep trying but without success (so far).
The worrisome thing that occurs is that when the cities and counties run into a road block they seem to come back at it with a bigger hammer. Not once have they looked at the situation and tried to legitimately clear the roadblock. But what is really disturbing is how witness testimony seems to change in an attempt to "say" what the court wants to hear.
From the beginning we have heard that a document that is titled the "Florida Statement of System Reliability" contains evidence of when the "self-test" occurs. This document always has it being done at the exact same time each day - midnight. Despite many other problems with this document it has become known, through the release of more documentation and testimony, that the Florida Statement of System Reliability does not indicate when the self-test occurs. Recent testimony and documentation now state the self-test always occurs around 2AM. The big red balloon here is the change in direction from the camera company's statements as to what is actually occurring. Either they are telling the truth now, they were telling the truth over the last two years, or they have yet to tell the truth. Why have the cities and counties not questioned the red light camera companies regarding this obvious problem?
This is just one example of some of the sketchy things that are going on with the red light camera hearings. Most of the municipalities hire outside counsel and are probably not keeping close tabs on what is going on. One, however, is using in-house counsel. It is inexcusable for our government to not pay attention to these issues. At one point I wrote about how the red light camera debacle could be fixed. As time drags on, it seems difficult that any of these companies can be trusted to be honest about their product and its reliability.

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