Gainesville Florida – Red Light Cameras – Officials Hope Red Light Cameras Will Make Streets and Driving Safer in Gainesville

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The Gainesville City Commission unanimously voted in March to set up a system that would snap photos of people who drive through red lights. The system would also simultaneously ticket the owner of the vehicle for $158. City officials hope it will reduce crashes / automobile accidents at intersections. Gainesville’s Police Sergeant Joe Raulerson said the cameras could potentially save officers time that would ordinarily be spent writing accident reports so that they can focus their time on violent crimes.
The red light camera system would also be a source of potential revenue. According to the state statute, medical and health trust funds would receive $13 of the $158 ticket paid by the red light violator; the city would get $75; and the state would get the remaining $70.
Although the proposed benefits of red light cameras appear to be beneficial, the system presents an issue if a citizen decides to contest the ticket in court. The problem is that the whole system might not comply with the Florida evidence code relating to hearsay. After a citizen runs a red light, he or she will receive a notice in the mail from the red light camera company. The company will then send a local reviewing police officer to attend the traffic infraction hearing. Hearsay is an issue because the police officers have no personal knowledge of the situation, other than what they have been told by the red light camera company. For the traffic report to be admissible in court, the company would have to present their records custodian to testify as to the validity of the report. For more information on this topic, see Red light cameras are given the green light.

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