Monday, March 1, 2010

North Bay Village Is Now a Red Light District


You knew I was referring to the cameras, right?

After an initial false start, the red light camera program is in effect today, March 1, 2010.

In the last post, the subject of the legality, specifically about how the infraction witnessed was raised. I spoke today with Lt. McVay of the NBVPD and it's pretty straightforward.

The Process: - At several intersections on the Causeway, cameras are activated when the light turns red. Cars making a right turn or going through the intersection trigger the camera and are filmed. These video captures are reviewed by NBV police personnel and the reviewing officer determines if a violation occurred.

The owner of the car receives a violation notice, along with a web site address to review the video of the offense. If the owner of the car chooses to dispute the notice, the owner has the option of a hearing with the magistrate. The magistrate determines if the violation occurred.

The Fines: - The fine is $110 if paid within 30 days, $125 after that. If the owner of the vehicle has requested a review, the late fee is held in abeyance.

The Infraction: - This is a code infraction, not a traffic infraction, so the owner does not get points on the DMV record. It is legally similar to a parking ticket.

The Witness: - the witness is the reviewing officer. Similar to other code infractions, parking, dumping etc. video evidence is generally considered acceptable in lieu of eyewitness testimony.

NBVPD Contact: - Email Lt. Steve McVay for procedural questions or City Manager Matthew Schwartz for policy concerns.

2 comments:

  1. Its a civil infraction-NOT A CODE infraction or violation. I stand by original comments, if its under Code Enforcement they are still violating a persons (violators) right to due process under Florida Statute Chapter 162 that the violator has the right to cross-examine a witness. The witness is only observing what he/she sees via a video. Yes, video can be used to show if there is or is not a violation but there is still a question of the legality of the "witness" as in this case, the witness is not even the same person taking the video to show whether there is a violation or not. Whatever the case may be, I am sure one day soon someone in NBV will challenge it in court and then there will be a ruling such as the one in Aventura. Also, in most instances in Code Enforcement, the Code Officer submitting photos and or video as evidence in a Code Enforcement Hearing has to sign, and date and swear under oath that this is a clear and accurate dipiction of what he/she observed on that date at that time. A witness cannot do that if they are not the one taking the video or photo and that video they are watching was taken at a different time and location as the person viewing it. Again, this is opinion and question of legality, nothing set in stone here.

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  2. According to Lt. McVay the witness is the reviewing officer. Similar to other code infractions, parking dumping, ect. video evidence is generally acceptable in lieu of eyewitness testimony... LETS ADD IF IT IS THE SAME OFFICER TAKING THE VIDEO AND HE/SHE SWEARS UNDER OATH THAT THIS IS WHAT HE/SHE SAW AT THE EXACT DATE AND TIME IT OCCURED. Usually the Code Officer that takes a photo or video of the illegal parking, dumping, ect. is the same person (witness) who took the video/photo and who is standing in the Hearing UNDER OATH swearing to the fact that this is what they observed on the date and time it happend, NOT AFTER THE FACT and NOT BEING THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE VIDEO. There is a very fine line here and I am expecting to see challenges to this in court very shortly.

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