A Norfolk judge decided to throw out the red light camera ticket for an entire intersection. This could have major implications for the city, and others that have corrupt revenue generation.
“He didn’t believe it was fair, and acquitted me of the charges,” said David Butler.
Butler credits a story, ran on red-light cameras in Norfolk that showed how the city shortened yellow light times on the very day enforcement started.
Not only that but physicists investigated the cities lights and found them at some points to be impossible even to make it through the intersection legally during the yellow.
If drivers have a proper yellow light time, there should be no problem.
In reality, yellow lights, especially in turn lanes, are just too short for the distance needed to travel, creating what’s called a “dilemma zone” for drivers.
“If you are in this zone, you do not have the distance to stop and you do not have the time to proceed. You will run a red light, because you have no choice,” Brian Ceccarelli, a physicist living in Raleigh, NC.
Butler went into court with evidence, video of the investigation.
“I presented it to the judge showing him that they changed the light timing phase 3/8ths of a second lower without any cause or justification.”
The judge subpoenaed Norfolk’s assistant city traffic engineer for the case, allegedly grilling him in open court.
“Was it just coincidental the timing of the lights was shortened the day the cameras started?” “Did it have anything to do with revenue?” “Do you see how this looks?”
“He wanted to know why, the specifics on who gave him authorization, why they thought they needed to reduce it,” said Butler.
The judge appeared to want answers, throwing out Butler’s red-light camera ticket, and asking the city for the names of everyone who he convicted at that intersection in the past because he will be throwing out their red-light camera tickets as well.
This case could have major implications for motorists, and also might hurt the pocketbooks of greedy individuals who have no interest in safety.
Also red lights aren’t legal in 9 states, including Wisconsin who calls them “unconstitutional”.
21 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted laws permitting some form of red light camera use. 20 states have no state law concerning red light camera enforcement. 24 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have red light cameras currently operating at least one location.