Private Companies Cannot Issue Traffic Tickets for Running a Red Light

In the case of the City of Hollywood versus Eric Arem, an appeals court ruled that it is illegal for a private company to issue traffic tickets to people for running a red light. The court said that in Florida only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers have the legal authority to issue citations for traffic infractions. That, in turn, means that only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers are entitled to determine who gets prosecuted for a red light violation. Private companies are not allowed to make that determination.

Up until now, the court said, "it is the [private company] that decides which cases the [traffic enforcement officer] gets to review; it is the [private company] who initially determines who is subject to prosecution for a red light violation; it is the [private company] that obtains the information necessary for the completion of the citation; it is the [private company] that creates the actual citation; it is the [private company] that issues the citation to the registered owner of the vehicle; and, it is the [private company] that eventually transmits the traffic citation data to the court." Because that procedure is illegal, the court said, the appropriate action for a judge to take is to dismiss those traffic tickets.

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