In a win for red-light camera haters everywhere, drivers in Hollywood, FL this week, who went to court to fight citations after being snapped by the city's red light cameras have had their citations thrown out. The reason is that the Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled last October that the city's method for choosing which camera events are violations goes against existing Florida statutes, and then said all the tickets issued under the system should be dismissed.

American Traffic Solutions is the third-party vendor that runs Hollywood's camera system. ATS would collect all the camera incidents then decide which ones merited a citation, then would send that batch to a Hollywood traffic infraction enforcement officer who would hit an "Accept" button. Then ATS would do the rest. The only time the city got involved after that was if the driver fought the ticket and the infraction officer had to go to court to "defend" the citation - which here means defending hitting the "Accept" button.

The District Court said Florida cities can't delegate the act of initially choosing violations to a third-party vendor, because the Florida statute covering the camera program specifically says a traffic officer needs to do that. The decision can't come from a private third-party business.

The battle isn't over, though; Hollywood wants the court to stay the final decision while it considers an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, and other cities have continued doing business as usual claiming their systems aren't like Hollywood's. Yet a Florida traffic citation lawyer thinks he's got every other city in the crosshairs, telling Miami's WPLG, "I'm anxious for our day in court because I have a contract for virtually every city in the state and each contract has the same provision that says ATS will do the initial review."

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