SB 192 Allows municipalities to use automated traffic control systems to enforce traffic laws under certain conditions
Sponsor: Crowell
LR Number: 0208S.01I Fiscal Note:
Committee: Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action: 1/17/2007 - Second Read and Referred S Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Journal Page: S115
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2007

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Current Bill Summary

SB 192 - This act allows various political subdivisions to establish and utilize automated photo red light enforcement systems to detect red light signal violations. In order to utilize such systems, the political subdivision must comply with certain conditions.

REQUIREMENTS OF AUTOMATED RED LIGHT ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM - No agency shall use an automated photo red light enforcement system unless the system is capable of producing at least two high-resolution color digital recorded images that show:

(1) The traffic control signal while it is emitting a steady red signal;

(2) The offending vehicle; and

(3) The rear license plate of the offending vehicle.

One of the images must be of sufficient resolution to show clearly all the aforementioned elements.

The automated photo red light enforcement system shall not capture images of the front license plate of the motor vehicle.

The automated photo red light enforcement system shall utilize a video recording component which shall record the period during which the two violation images were captured, as well as at least five seconds before and at least five seconds after the violation event.

No system may photograph or otherwise capture an image of the driver's face.

ADVANCE WARNING OF USE OF AUTOMATED SYSTEM - Prior to activation of the system at an intersection, the roadway first must be clearly marked with a white stripe indicating the stop line and the perimeter of the intersection. The political subdivision must also install warning signs within 500 feet of the white stripe indicating the stop line. Prior to installing the automated photo red light enforcement system, the agency shall give notice of the intersection where the system will be located and of the date on which the system will begin to monitor the intersection. The agency shall give the notice at least 14 days prior to the installation of the system in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the political subdivision served by the agency (Subsections 8 and 9 of Section 304.286).

REPORT - The act requires political subdivisions using such a system to submit an annual report to the Department of Transportation regarding:

(1) The number of intersections enforced by active systems;

(2) The number of notices of violation mailed;

(3) The number of notices of violation paid;

(4) The number of hearings; and

(5) The total revenue collected as a result of the program (Subsections 9 and 10 of Section 304.286). Within three years of establishing the program, the implementing jurisdiction shall perform an evaluation of the program's impact on traffic safety.

AGREEMENTS WITH THIRD-PARTY VENDORS - Under the act, a political subdivision that establishes an automated photo red light enforcement system may enter into an agreement or agreements for the purpose of compensating a private vendor to perform operational and administrative tasks associated with the use of such system. Any compensation paid to a private vendor shall not be based upon the number of violations mailed, the number of citations issued, the number of violations paid, or the amount of revenue collected by the agency (Subsection 12 of Section 304.286).

DUE PROCESS/ISSUANCE OF CITATION - Before a notice may be issued, all violation images produced by a system shall be reviewed and approved by a law or code enforcement officer employed by the agency in which the alleged violation occurred. Based on inspection of recorded images produced by a system, a notice of violation or copy of such notice alleging that the violation occurred and signed manually or digitally by a duly authorized agent of the agency shall be evidence of the facts contained therein and shall be admissible in any proceeding.

The act delineates what the notice of violation must contain. The act requires the notice of violation to contain a copy of two recorded images and a zoomed and cropped image of the vehicle license plate. The notice shall provide information advising the registered owner of how he or she can review the video and other photographic evidence of the alleged violation. Such evidence may be provided through the Internet via a password-protected system. A notice of violation issued must be mailed no later than three business days after the violation was recorded by the system.

FINES - The civil penalties and court costs imposed for a violation detected and enforced pursuant to a system shall not exceed an amount that would have been imposed if the violation had been detected by a law enforcement officer present when the violation occurred. In no event shall the combined fine and court costs exceed $100. A person who commits a steady red light violation that is detected and enforced through an automated photo red light enforcement system is guilty of an infraction. A violation detected pursuant to a system shall not be deemed a moving violation. No points be assessed against any person for a violation detected by an automated photo red light enforcement system.

REBUTTING PRESUMPTION THAT OWNER OF VEHICLE COMMITTED RED LIGHT VIOLATION - A person charged with committing a red light violation under the act may rebut the presumption that he or she committed the violation by filing an affidavit with the court that he or she was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation or by testifying in open court that he or she was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation. The presumption may also be rebutted if a certified copy of a police report, showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation of this section, is presented to the court adjudicating the alleged violation.

THIRTY-DAY GRACE PERIOD - For the first 30 days after a system is installed at a particular intersection, the political subdivision shall issue only warning notices and shall not issue any ticket or citation for any violation detected by the system.

BAN ON PHOTO RADAR - Under the act, no political subdivision may employ the use of a photo radar system to enforce speeding violations.

RECORD REQUIREMENTS - The act requires political subdivisions to maintain photographic and other recorded evidence for a period of at least three years. The photographic and recorded evidence shall not be subject to disclosure under the Sunshine Law.