- Mar 16, 2006
Minneapolis judge orders 'lights out' for traffic signal cameras
A Minneapolis, Minnesota area judge has given red-light cameras a taste of their own medicine. Hennepin County District Judge Mark Wernick has put the red light on the county's automated traffic signal cameras installed this past July.
The judge found legal fault with the county’s ‘Stop On Red’ program, which (like virtually all red-light camera programs) tickets the owners of the offending vehicles, not the drivers themselves. As Minnesota state laws put the responsibility for light violations on the driver, Wernick threw out the challenging ticket, saying that Minneapolis lacks the authority to make law an ordinance that would hold vehicle owners responsible.
The motorist who brought the case to court was represented by an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) volunteer attorney, Howard Bass, who argued that the ordinance was unconstitutional, though Judge Wernick didn’t comment on that facet of their case.
The city is mulling whether to appeal the decision, but the case could set an important legal precident nationwide, as it is estimated that as many as 160 other cities employ red light cameras.
[Source: Associated Press via KMSP Fox 9 News]
(Top tip, Jenni!)