Red Light Camera Ticket in a Rental Car? Florida Law Does Not Offer Equal Protection
By Ted Hollander
While it is no secret that The Ticket Clinic has been zealously fighting red light cameras, a new type of challenge to the cameras is making its way through the courts with success.
When a driver receives a red light camera citation, he or she first receives a Notice of Violation (NOV), which comes with a $158 fine and, if paid, will not appear on the recipient’s driving record. If the NOV is not paid within 30 days, the driver receives a Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC). If a UTC is not dismissed, it carries a higher fine and will appear permanently on a driving record.
When a rental car driver gets a red light camera ticket, because the car is registered to the rental car company, the NOV is issued to the rental car company. The rental car company, pursuant to Florida law, executes an affidavit stating the name of the person who was in possession of the car at the time that the red light camera violation allegedly occurred. Then, under Florida law, a UTC is issued to the renter of the car, even though he or she is learning about the alleged violation for the first time. There is no opportunity to simply pay the violation and have the matter wiped from the driving record.
The Ticket Clinic believes that this practice is a clear violation of equal protection and due process requirements of our state and federal constitution. And the courts are starting to agree. We have recently obtained favorable orders by courts who agree that the Florida law, as currently written, unfairly subject rental car drivers to higher fines and marred driving records. We will continue to fight the fight against red light cameras and update this blog as this area develops.
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