The new state statute authorizing photo enforcement of red light running violations went into effect July 1, 2010. This statute preempts camera enforcement to the state, and thus puts all local programs under statutory guidelines rather than municipal ordinances. We completed our conversion process and started enforcement this week in accordance with F.S.S. 316.083. I thought we would take a moment to highlight some key points of RLC information this weekend.
- All violations occurring prior to July 1 have been reviewed and approved for Notices of Violation to be issued. If you committed a violation in June, you should be receiving your Notice in the mail soon.
- Appeals for violations prior to July 1 will use the process outlined in our municipal ordinance by scheduling a hearing before a Code Hearing Officer. We will utilize that process until all appeals for pre-July 1 violations are completed. Follow the instructions on the back of your Notice should you want to schedule a hearing.
- We started reviewing violations occurring on or after July 1 this week and noted approval of those events that are clear violations. Notices of Violation are in the mail at this time and should be arriving soon.
- Right turns on red are now being enforced under the new "careful and prudent" standard rather than the previous standard of stopping at the white stop bar (or at least significantly slowing down when rolling through the intersection). We fully expect to issue far fewer Notices of Violation for right turn on red violations under the new less stringent standard.
- Remember my earlier comment that photo enforcement was now preempted by the State of Florida? Among other things that means the fine amount is now established by the State rather than the City of Lakeland, and so the Notices contain a higher fine - $158 instead of the previous $125 - in accordance with the statute.
We will check in from time to time and keep the community updated on information related to the new red light camera enforcement procedures, but we continue to encourage everyone to Stop on Red and drive carefully.
- Asst Chief Bill LePere