The Ins and Outs of Traffic Tickets

Almost every driver has experienced the dreaded traffic ticket at some point or another. No sooner do you accelerate on the highway than you see the flashing lights and siren behind you indicating a wrong-doing. A momentary lapse of good judgment should not, however, tarnish your clean driving record. Knowing how to fight a traffic ticket will ensure that you don’t pay excess fines or get your license taken away.

It is extremely important to remember to always respect the law; never get angry with the officer or start arguing with them, as this will only get you further into trouble. Be sure to directly answer all of the officer’s questions in a courteous and polite manner. Do not exit your vehicle unless they ask you to.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should not openly admit your guilt or try and come up with unbelievable stories or excuses. Let the officer explain your infraction and if they ask if you know what you did, answer with a simple, “No, I don’t.” For a speeding offense, be sure that they inform you of what speed you were going and what the limit is in the area.

The name and badge number of the officer will be listed on the ticket, but it can sometimes be unreadable, especially if they have bad handwriting. Be sure to ask them for this information and write it down for yourself, as you will need it for when you go to court. You will also need to ask them detailed and specific questions about the device they used to determine your speed or other infraction and where they were located. For speeding, check for clearly marked signs; if there are none then be sure to take videos or pictures to further prove your case in court.

The officer may come to the conclusion that because you are being so thorough with your questions, that the case may get dismissed, and it is not worth the effort of showing up in court. They do not get paid for court dates and hearings, and many of them would rather be spending time with loved ones or friends anyway. If they do not appear, your case is automatically dismissed.

Your case can still be won, though, even if the officer does show up. The judge may consider all of your evidence and dismiss the case altogether or lessen the fine that you must pay. For more serious offenses, it may be worthwhile hiring an attorney. There are also companies that are comprised of former police officers that give you advice and tips on how to proceed in court. You will have to decide for yourself if spending money on this type of assistance is needed.

Knowledge is power, and gathering every detail possible is paramount to proving your case, whether or not you hire anyone to help you. Immediately after receiving your ticket, file a motion of discovery. This will let you know exactly what you are being charged with, and what type of evidence will be used against you.

Volunteering for traffic school may also be a way for you to get your offense lessened or dismissed completely. Not all areas offer this, so be sure to check with your local jurisdiction. There is a great benefit to receiving a refresher course and can help to prevent future tickets and fines. Knowing how to fight a traffic ticket could be as simple as preventing one in the first place. Fight your Florida Traffic Ticket now, 954-967-9888 http://www.TrafficTicketTeam.com

Things You Must Know to Fight a Traffic Ticket

Every driver has dealt with the unpleasantness of receiving a traffic ticket at least once. One moment you are cruising down the highway and the next moment you see those dreaded flashing lights behind you telling you to pull over. One small infraction shouldn’t taint your driving record or hike up your insurance rates. If you learn how to fight a traffic ticket, you can keep your driving record clean and keep your hard earned money where it belongs – in your pocket.

When you get pulled over, always remember to be respectful and courteous to the officer. Sarcastic remarks or arguing will not be received well and may actually get you into even more trouble. Be sure to answer the officer’s questions directly, and don’t elaborate on them. Never get out of your car unless the officer asks you to, as this could be seen as a sign of aggression.

Do not openly admit your guilt or try to think of outlandish stories or excuses for your behavior. Reply with a simple, “No, Sir” or “No, Ma’am” when the officer asks if you know why they pulled you over. It is their responsibility to explain what the offense is, and they should do it in as much detail as possible. If you were speeding, make sure they let you know how fast you were going, and how much above the speed limit that is.

If you are going to court, you will need to know the name of the officer and their badge number. This is written on the ticket but is sometimes illegible, so be sure to ask. For a speeding infraction, ask the officer about the device that was used and where they were located when they determined that you were going too fast. Check that area for clearly marked speed limit signs. If there are none, take pictures so that you have further evidence for your court hearing.

When you ask very specific questions, it can sometimes lead the officer to believe that it’s not worth the effort of showing up to the court date. If they think that you will gather enough evidence they may conclude that your ticket will get thrown out or the charge will be lessened anyway. Officers have to appear in court on their day off, and many would rather be with their family or out on the driving range. Your case will be automatically dismissed if the officer does not appear.

You can still win, however, even if the officer does make an appearance, especially if it is your first offense, or it is deemed as a minor one. You can get the charge completely thrown out, or the fine may be reduced. If it is a more serious infraction, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. Companies such as X-Coppers are run by former police officers and can help give you tips and strategies on how to win your case. You will have to determine whether or not it is worth spending the extra money on this kind of help.

You will need to be prepared for your court case, whether you hire a lawyer or not. Prepare your statement to the judge well in advance and gather as much information as possible. A motion of discovery should be filed as soon as your ticket is received, as this is your right to know exactly what you are being charged with and what kind of evidence will be presented. Knowledge beforehand is key in order to defend yourself effectively.

Some jurisdictions offer traffic school as an option, instead of being convicted with an offense. Check your local area to see if this is a viable choice. It is always a good plan to voluntarily sign up for a refresher course and will help to prevent further tickets and fines. Not getting a ticket in the first place is the best strategy in learning how to fight a traffic ticket. Call the Traffic Ticket Team now, 954-967-9888 http://www.TrafficTicketTeam.com

It happens to all of us at one time or another – the dreaded traffic ticket. One minute you could be making great time on your morning commute, and the next minute you see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror indicating the need to pull over. One momentary lapse in judgment shouldn’t mean that your driving record be tarnished for years to come; learning how to fight a traffic ticket can ensure that you don’t pay a big fine or have to pay more for insurance.

The first thing to remember is to be polite and respectful to the officer who pulls you over. Being sarcastic or saying things like “my taxes pay for your salary, ” will not go over well and may in fact get you into even more trouble. Answer all of the officer’s questions in a direct manner and don’t attempt to get out of your vehicle unless specifically asked to do so.

Another important thing to remember is not to admit guilt or come up with outrageous excuses. When the officer asks if you know why you were pulled over, answer with a simple, “No I do not officer.” Let them explain to you in detail what your offense is. If you were caught speeding, make sure they tell you the speed that you were going, and what the posted speed limit actually is.

Be sure to get the officer’s name and badge number as you will need it if you go to court. Also, if they offense is speeding, ask very detailed questions about the device they used to determine your speed. Find out where the officer was located and check to make sure that speed limits are clearly posted. If not, take pictures of the area you were driving in as proof that you were not sure what the limit was.

Sometimes, asking very detailed, specific questions may deter the officer from appearing in court; they may determine that it’s just not worth the effort and with all of the evidence that you have gathered, a judge will rule in your favor. Officers have to come to court on their own time, and they may very well prefer to golf that day. If the officer does not appear, then your ticket is automatically deemed null and void.

If the officer does appear, and this is your first offense then chances are you can still win your case. The judge may decide to lessen the charge so you don’t have to pay as much or lose your license. Depending on what the offense is, you may want to hire a lawyer. There are also organizations owned by former police officers that can give you advice and help you fight your ticket. You will have to decide whether it is worth the extra money you will need to spend on this type of assistance.

Whether you hire a lawyer or decide to represent yourself, it’s critical that you be prepared for your court date. Get as much information as possible and know what you are going to say to the judge. File a motion of discovery as soon as you get your ticket; this is your right to know all of the evidence that is being presented against you and will help you build your case. You can’t fight what you don’t know.

The judge may be willing to lessen or dismiss your charge if you indicate that you are willing to go to traffic school. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if this is an option in your area. A refresher course is always a good idea and will help to prevent further tickets and offenses. It may be your best strategy in how to fight a traffic ticket. If you get a ticket, call 954-967-9888 www.TrafficTicketTeam.com

DMV System Crashes, Long Lines to Get Your License

Traffic Ticket lawyer Intermittent outages of the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles mainframe servers have led to system crashes at driver’s license offices across the state, making already long waits even longer for frustrated customers. ”All I’m doing is sitting here waiting,” said Jeff Gilman, who arrived at the DMV office on Military Trail at about noon Friday and was still waiting to be served four hours later, along with about 60 other people.  The system has been unstable since Nov. 3 and it has been declared it a critical situation, said Courtney Heidelberg, DMV’s deputy communications director. The problem has not been fixed yet, she said. Customers at DMV offices were already facing long waits because of tougher ID requirements for obtaining licenses since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Although Gilman said officials offered to let people make appointments to come back another day because of the sporadic outages, he said he was concerned he’d just run into the same problems again. The lengthy wait times were exacerbated at the Deerfield office because its two bathrooms were out of order most of the afternoon.  ”The bathroom backed up and the sewage came up out of the floor,” said Uranius Cruz, of Deerfield Beach, who arrived at the office at 11:30 a.m. and wasn’t finished until 3:45 p.m. Scott Vincent, of Margate, came to the Deerfield DMV office Friday after stopping by the Margate officefirst. ”The line was even longer in Coral Springs,” said Vincent, who arrived at 2:30 p.m. and planned to stay as late as necessary. Officials said anyone in line as of 5 p.m. would be seen. The Traffic Ticket Team is aware of the problem and trying to help people in a similar situation. If you get a traffic ticket, call the www.trafficticketteam.com, Jason Diamond, Diamond, Kistner & Diamond, 954-967-9888. Let us Fight your Traffic Ticket. Do not pay that traffic ticket, fight back.

 

She Wears Short Shorts… He Wears Baggy Shorts…

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If you’re headed to traffic court in California better leave the flip-flops at home. Have a court appearance in district court in Inkster, Mich.? Jeans are on the not-to-wear list. And don’t even think of wearing short shorts to court in Dover, Del. Judges in those jurisdictions and others across the USA are cracking down on skimpy, sloppy or what they consider inappropriate attire in an effort to maintain decorum and beef up security.  A provision in Delaware  that bars skirts shorter than 4 inches above the knee when standing “sounds like Catholic school,” says Timothy Fautsko, who advises courts on security issues for the National Center for State Courts. But, he says, the dress codes serve a purpose.

“I think it maintains order in the courtroom,” he says. Fautsko says some people seem determined to push the fashion envelope. “I had a report of one court that had an individual keep coming into court dressed like a clown,” he says. “Again, that pushes the dignity of the court.” Courts are a place where serious business is conducted, and that demands appropriate attire, says Delaware Superior Court Judge William Witham Jr. “We’re not out to treat people as school kids, but we do expect if you come to court, you need to treat it with the appropriate respect and dignity it should deserve due to the occasion,” he says. Among recent examples:

• In May, Jennifer LaPenta was jailed briefly after a judge in Lake County, Ill., held her in contempt for wearing an offensive T-shirt to court.

• In Inkster, Mich., Joseph Kassab was turned away in April from the courtroom for wearing black jeans. He missed his traffic court appearance and was fined, and he’s challenging the dress code in the state Court of Appeals.

• The same thing happened to Linda West, who missed her court date after being refused entry in June to court in Bakersfield, Calif., for wearing flip-flops.

• In July, in Hamilton County (Ohio) Municipal Court, William Morse’s T-shirt featuring slasher-movie character Chucky and the words “Say goodbye to the killer” earned Morse a warning that he’d spend a day in jail if he came to court again with inappropriate attire.

Though some attire may seem obvious choices to ban, other clothing can be a tougher call — and barring some attire can raise troubling questions about race, religion and access to justice, legal experts say. “It would seem inappropriate to have the security officers be the determiner unless it’s a safety issue … especially when the result could be they miss their court appearance and are subject to a penalty. That would be questionable,” says Micah J. Yarbrough, a professor at Widener University School of Law. Many dress codes single out baggy pants, particularly those that expose undergarments. That fashion began in the African-American community, says Holly Alford, an assistant professor in the department of fashion design and merchandising at Virginia Commonwealth University. Banning such attire is “almost like you’re making racial statements without actually saying it,” says Alford — who admits she pesters her son daily to pull up his pants. Fautsko says an increasing numbers of courts are adopting dress codes, and for security reasons some specify that faces be uncovered, posing problems for Muslim women wearing veils or burqas. That issue has come to the fore among judges and security personnel in the past six months, he says, adding that courts are “seeking some definitive direction on what to do, and what to do in a uniform manner, so it’s not different from court to court.”

A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says courts can follow the lead of the Transportation Security Administration and have a female officer take a Muslim woman to a private setting where she can remove her face covering. “There should be no issue for anyone entering a court with either a face veil or a head scarf,” Hooper says. Dress codes can play a role in public safety. For instance, gang-related clothing or gang colors could be used to intimidate witnesses in criminal cases. Dress codes pose few problems for defense attorneys, according to Brendan O’Neill, Delaware’s chief public defender. Most lawyers customarily advise clients about proper attire, he says, and many will supply garments to indigent clients. Gayle V. Fischer, a professor at Salem State University, has written extensively on the history of clothing and society. In her view, court dress codes are the product of a casual society and ignorance of court culture.A pajama-clad woman who was turned away from court in Delaware “probably wears that outfit to the grocery store,” Fischer says. “Dressing up, that’s something that you’re taught, and if you don’t live or participate in any of the arenas where you need to dress up, you probably just don’t think about it.

If you get caught speeding, you should call the Traffic Ticket Team, http://www.trafficticketteam.com, to fight your Florida Traffic Ticket. If you get a traffic ticket for anything, speeding, red light, DUI or anything else, call us anytime to fight your traffic ticket at 954-967-9888, Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond, P.A. and Diamond, Kistner & Diamond.

Sunrise Cops Have a Traffic Ticket Quota…

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Sunrise cops are expected to make a minimum of 45,612 traffic stops a year. (Michael Francis McElroy, Sun Sentinel /August 20, 2010)

Sunrise road patrol officers are expected to make at least three traffic stops a day, according to a complaint form on the officer filed in May. That means the city’s 84 road patrol officers have to make at least 45,864 stops a year, about half the city’s population.With Sunrise home to Sawgrass Mills  mall, a top tourist destination in South Florida, folks from all over are at risk of being pulled over and given a ticket. What it could cost you, on average: $200.

“The public thinks it’s a gotcha game and they are going to get you if they have to meet that quota,” said Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Law School in Davie. Officers who meet the quota — referred to as “shift standards” by department brass — are in line for promotions, special assignments and raises, say union officials. Those who don’t risk a written reprimand, they say. The Sunrise police union does not condone quotas of any kind, said Roger Krege, union president.The officers making the traffic stops are “just following orders,” Krege said. Officers need to be able to make decisions without “external influences” from supervisors who demand a set number of stops per day. Chief John Brooks, who joined the department in June 2007, denied having a quota.”I don’t have a ticket quota and I don’t have an arrest quota,” Brooks said. “It’s not illegal, but it’s unethical.”

Capt. Robert Voss, who oversees the department’s road patrol officers, says supervisors need some way to measure performance. The number of daily traffic stops an officer makes helps gauge productivity, Voss said. “Those are guidelines for them to follow,” Voss said. “We have to have a way to measure what an officer is doing out there. The officers are making a lot of money. We want to make sure they’re working.” The standards apply only to the officers assigned to road patrol, Voss said, not to the department’s entire 172-member force.

Mayor Roger Wishner characterized the three-stops-a-day rule as community policing, where officers focus on certain neighborhoods to help reduce traffic accidents. “I don’t support a quota system, but I do want our officers out there enforcing traffic laws,” Wishner said. Deputy Mayor Sheila Alu also backs Brooks’ rule, in effect since July 2008. “I think he’s trying to keep the officers accountable,” Alu said. “He wants to make sure the officers are doing their jobs and performing.” From October 2008 through September 2009, Sunrise collected $431,200 in traffic fines and court costs, city records show. Sunrise has collected $352,000 in ticket money from October 2009 through early August.  In addition to the traffic stops, Sunrise officers are required to make three “Field Interrogation Card” reports each month — or 3,024 every year. Officers use the FIC reports to document suspicious activity — and to prove they are working, Sunrise police officials say. One officer has Voss wondering just what he could be doing his entire 11.5-hour shift. Bruce Charlton, a 21-year veteran who works the day shift, has been written up three times this year for failing to meet shift standards. In February, he had one traffic stop and no FI cards. In March, he had no traffic stops and one FI card. In April, he made seven traffic stops and wrote one FIC report. “I have personally given verbal warnings to Officer Charlton and have placed notes and copies of his stats in his shift file regarding his lack of productivity,” Sgt. Mark Hudson wrote in a May 17 complaint on the officer. “By failing to heed repeated supervisor warnings, Officer Charlton remains in violation of Department Policy and Procedure. Technically, Charlton was written up for disobeying an order. The order: To make more traffic stops and write more FI Cards. Charlton, 41, said this in his defense: “We have over 200 different responsibilities to perform during our shift and it’s not fair to the public’s safety or officers’ safety to pigeonhole our performance solely on traffic stops and FI Cards.

The other officers have to neglect their other duties for fear of discipline if they don’t meet the shift standards.” Traffic quotas may not be illegal in Florida but they are frowned on, said Bob Dekle, a law professor at the UF, “The problem you get into with quotas, every stop is open to public criticism,” he said. “The accusation is, ‘You did it because you had a quota to make, not because the person was doing something wrong.’ That’s why quotas are a bad idea.”  On the other hand, Dekle said he understands the dilemma for supervisors who want to make sure the rank and file are not sleeping on the job. “It shouldn’t be too hard for officers to make three traffic stops a day and three field interrogations a month,” Dekle said. “If the officer is not doing that, you have to wonder what he is doing.” Officials with the Broward Sheriff’s Office say the agency does not have quotas. The Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood police departments say the same. Fort Lauderdale does require its officers to meet “performance standards” to measure productivity, Sgt. Frank Sousa said. Officers are evaluated on the quantity of their work, but are not required to “write five tickets a day or make three arrests,” Sousa said. Nor are they required to conduct a set number of traffic stops or “Field Interrogation Cards,” he said. The Sun Sentinel reviewed 287 FI Cards written by Sunrise officers between June 19 and July 19. Subjects were questioned for many reasons — loitering, walking home, driving around “aimlessly,” sitting in a parked car at a shopping center after hours. Will Carrasco, a Plantation resident questioned by Sunrise police in June, was not surprised to hear of the shift standards.”It sounds like a quota to me,” Carrasco said. Carrasco, 27, and his brother-in-law were camped out in his car outside Sawgrass Mills about 3:30 a.m. June 19, hoping to be first in line to buy a new Jordan sneaker. “Three cops came up and said ‘What are you doing here?'” Carrasco recounted. “We were sitting in the car with snacks and water, minding our own business. I can’t really blame them. But I think sometimes they overdo it. Three of them showed up.”

If you get caught speeding, you should call the Traffic Ticket Team, http://www.trafficticketteam.com, to fight your Florida Traffic Ticket. If you get a traffic ticket for anything, speeding, red light, DUI or anything else, call us anytime to fight your traffic ticket at 954-967-9888, Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond, P.A. and Diamond, Kistner & Diamond.

DRIVER’S LICENSE EXAMINERS SENT TO PRISON.

Another driver’s license examiner has surrendered to begin serving a prison term in a conspiracy in which examiners took payoffs to obtain driver’s licenses for more than 1,500 illegal immigrants. Chenita Byrd-Mosley, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation or reward and conspiracy to commit official misconduct.  Byrd-Mosley will serve 18 months in prison, followed by three years probation. Each of the two charges was punishable by up to five years. Debbie Hunter-Collins, 43, of Delray Beach, pleaded guilty last month and will surrender July 12 to serve a two-year prison term, followed by three years of probation. Prosecutors have said at least seven examiners at the Delray Beach Driver’s License office were part of the scheme.  They say at least six conspirators generated fake immigration documents, then directed applicants to examiners who would wave them through, often without requiring driving or written tests.  At $1,200 to $2,500 per license, the conspirators may have pocketed several million dollars, prosecutors say. Investigators haven’t ruled out that more examiners and conspirators were involved. Examiner Melita Dera Zilea, 28, of Coral Springs, already has been sentenced to three years in prison, followed by two years of probation. And co-worker Jashonda Kaliha Scott, 25, of Palm Springs, got two years in prison followed by three years of probation.  Examiner Patreese Harvey, 29, of Palm Springs, is scheduled to make a plea and is expected to also receive prison time and probation.  The remaining two examiners, Maggie Nelson, 47, of Delray Beach, and Osie Carter, 49, Boynton Beach, are set for trial March 2. So are four alleged conspirators: Jonex Moise, 35, of Boynton Beach; Rene Clairvoyant, 57, of Boca Raton; Willy Adam, 52, of suburban Lake Worth; and Lorigene Jean Baptiste, 41, of West Palm Beach. Alex Adrien, then 42, of Delray Beach, was arrested in April 2009 and eventually deported to Haiti. Two suspected conspirators remain at large. If you think you need an attorney for a related case, please call the traffic ticket team at 954-967-9888 or go to www.traffictcketteam.com

RED LIGHT CAMERA’S DECLARED ILLEGAL

Cities throughout the state scrambled Monday to review their red-light camera programs after a circuit judge ruled that Aventura is illegally using the traffic devices to catch motorists. Although the case is being appealed, its eventual resolution will influence at least 26 cities statewide that have installed red-light cameras. They include Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach. Invoking opinions issued by the state attorney general in 1997 and 2005, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley said traffic laws are the purview of the state and that police officers should witness — and then issue tickets to — red-light runners. Relying on a traffic camera alone, without an officer at the intersection, was “invalid,” Bagley said, according to a transcript of his summary judgment issued Monday. City officials argued red-light cameras prevented accidents and they sidestepped state law by issuing code violations, not traffic tickets. The vehicle’s owner, not the driver, was cited. No traffic points were issued and fines generally cost $125. Appeals could be made only to a special magistrate, who typically worked for the city. “Red-light cameras save lives and the state of Florida has been too slow to approve this life-saving measure, forcing cities to do what they themselves should be doing to protect residents,” said Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo. But traffic lawyers and some motorists say local governments overreached.  The State should run the traffic ticket laws said Jason Diamond from the Traffic Ticket Team, www.trafficticketteam.com. Several hundred drivers from throughout the state last year joined class-action suits filed against Pembroke Pines, North Miami, Homestead, Orlando and more than a dozen other local governments. Pembroke Pines officials have already set aside $253,919 in an escrow account from the 3,072 citations issued since March 2009. It has cameras posted at Southwest 129th Avenue and Pines Boulevard, but postponed the installation of several more until a lawsuit filed by more than two dozen drivers is settled. “We are aware of the order,” said Michael Cirullo, who is helping represent Pembroke Pines in a suit pending against the city’s red-light program. “We have yet to fully review the order, but when we do, we will be evaluating it to see whether it will have any effect on the city’s program.” Officials in West Palm Beach, which began using a red-light camera system on Sunday, said their city will be unaffected by the ruling because it was in a different circuit court.  “We have not had time to completely review the case. However our system will remain active,” city spokesman Chase Scott wrote in an e-mail. “Before we issue a ticket, the incident is reviewed by three people and then a link to watch the video is issued along with the violation. We believe the cameras save lives and prevent injuries to pedestrians and other drivers.”  Fort Lauderdale City Attorney Harry Stewart said he had not seen the order yet, but based on what he’d heard, the city might wait for the appeal to be decided before installing the cameras at 10 intersections. The city on Feb. 3 approved a 39-month contract with American Traffic Solutions in Kansas and hoped to start reaping about $1.8 million a year.  “In order to evaluate whether we should dump our program or continue forward, we need to be able to see the order and evaluate the legal determinations therein,” Stewart said late Monday afternoon. City Attorney Brian Shutt said his city was prepared for the controversy. “We have a provision that says we won’t proceed forward with implementing or installing the cameras until there is state law that provides for this or until there is a favorite court ruling that allows them,” he said. The issue came up in the state Legislature last year, only to fail after lawmakers disagreed over how to apportion the ticket proceeds. In March, the Legislature will consider a bill that would allow cities and counties to use traffic cameras. Part of the proceeds from fines would go to trauma centers, hospitals and nursing homes. If you got a red light traffic ticket, call the Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond at the trafficticketteam.com, 954-967-9888.

Red Light Camera’s in Palm Beach County Are Here!

Never mind the court challenges or the bills in the legislature. Warm-ups and warnings are over, West Palm Beach says. For the first time in Palm Beach County, a city with red-light cameras says it will start handing out real fines today. “I think initially we’ll see a lot of resistance and a lot of flak about the program, but in the long run I think people are going to see it’s going to keep our streets safe,” said assistant police chief Dennis Crispo. West Palm Beach and a private camera vendor will split $125 fines generated at four intersections, soon to be five.vSince a warning period began Nov. 21, red-light cameras in West Palm Beach have recorded 17,349 “events,” Crispo said. After reviewing the evidence, police approved the mailing of warnings in 5,815 cases. As of today, cops are supposed to start approving fines, not warnings. Royal Palm Beach indefinitely postponed fines Feb. 8 after some drivers there were upset about warnings for what they considered safe right turns on red. There were also complaints about distracting camera flashes.  Before fines are mailed to car owners based on their license plates, West Palm Beach police will review camera evidence on a case by case basis, Crispo said. Motorists who show a clear attempt to stop during a right-on-red attempt are less likely to get a fine than those who blow through without stopping, he said. Car owners who are sent a fine will be able to go online to see evidence against them, Crispo said. Appeals will be handled by a designated official, he said. Infractions do not count as points on a driver’s record. In some places, the mood has turned testy against the use of various forms of cameras for traffic cases. A dentist’s sign-wielding protests against Juno Beach’s speeding van have preceded the planned March 2 debut of red-light camera fines there. In an extreme case in Arizona, a man has been charged with fatally shooting the operator of a van designed to nab speeders with cameras. Several cities decided to wait for what happens with court challenges to the cameras in Florida, as well as bills in the state legislature. West Palm Beach attorney Jason Diamond argues the cameras are unconstitutional because they fine the car owner as opposed to the driver, presume guilt, and fail to ensure traffic regulations are uniform throughout the state. Other cities are pushing ahead. Palm Springs expects to begin fines from red-light cameras March 1, with Haverhill pegging March 15, officials in those municipalities said.  West Palm Beach’s red-light cameras await at Parker Avenue and Belvedere Road, Parker and Summit Boulevard, Australian Avenue and Banyan Boulevard, and at Australian and Belvedere, One will be added at Australian and 25th Street.

Cop Writes Fake Traffic Tickets, Only in Florida.

Concern that a Florida Highway Patrol trooper accused of writing false traffic tickets may have more victims has prompted FHP to open a hot line number. “We have established a central hot line for people filing complaints in this case,” said FHP Maj. James G. Brierton, commander of Troop E, which is based in Dade.  The move comes after a revelation on Tuesday that Trooper Paul C. Lawrence, 38, had been arrested on 22 counts of official misconduct for writing the fake citations.  Already, 203 traffic citations that Lawrence issued since November have been dismissed.  But prosecutors think there might more victims.  Those who believe they received a false citation from Lawrence can call 305-470-2525.  In each case, Lawrence is accused of using information from drivers whom he had previously stopped. Then he manufactured new charges. The citations were not signed by the drivers.  The 22 counts are related to eight specific incidents this winter, according to the arrest affidavit.  Prosecutors said Lawrence started writing the false tickets to boost the number of citations he was reporting to his bosses.  In November alone, he submitted 397 citations to FHP — 82 of them missing a signature.  An FHP spokesman said FHP does not use a quota system.  Supervisors noticed something wrong in November when in one day five motorists called to complain they were being solicited by traffic ticket teams for citations, although they had not been stopped or ticketed by FHP.  An investigation was launched that showed an unusually large number of Lawrence’s citations were not signed by the alleged violators.  Lawrence, an FHP trooper for 15 years, has been placed on administrative duty “pending termination.”