Why does the City elect to use Traffic Enforcement Cameras?
Keeping our citizens and visitors safe as they travel the streets of Winter Park is a priority for our City. According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a study of large cities with longstanding programs found that cameras reduced the fatal red light running crash rate by 24 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 17 percent. (IIHS January 24, 2013).
The City of Winter Park currently has multiple cameras at five different intersections in our city. It would take twenty full time police officers to monitor those intersections twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The goal of this program is to reduce red light running violations, red light crashes, and red light injury crashes in a cost effective way to make the City of Winter Park’s roadways safer for our citizens and visitors.
I was sent a Notice of Violation, why did I get this?
Based upon images captured by the automated system, your vehicle was determined to have committed a red light violation. As the owner of the vehicle, the Notice of Violation is mailed to you. For every violation captured by the camera, a member of the Winter Park Police Department reviews the video and approves the issuance of the Notice of Violation before it is mailed to you.
The Notice of Violation came from Latham, New York or Beverly, Massachusetts. Did this come from the Winter Park Police Department?
The company which administers the program for the Winter Park Police Department distributes from Latham, New York and Beverly, Massachusetts. The paperwork will have their return address on it for processing purposes; however, the Winter Park Police Department does approve all Notice of Violations before they go to the owner of the vehicle.
The still photographs on the Notice of Violation show me stopped at the line, why did I get a ticket?
The still photographs are taken at the same time as the violation. The still photographs show the car before the stop bar and after to illustrate the color of the light. The video will show the moving violation. Please review the video for the violation itself.
I was issued a red light ticket, but I was not driving the car at the time of the violation?
The statute makes a presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the driver of the car. If you were not the driver of the car, you have the option of filling out an affidavit (provided with your Notice of Violation) to swear under oath who was driving the car. If you do not fill out the affidavit, you will be the person who answers for the violation. Ultimately, the statute does not require the City to prove who was actually driving the car.
I was issued a red light ticket, but I was simply making a right turn on red?
Florida Statute 316.075(1)(c) requires a driver to stop before entering a crosswalk or if none, before the intersection when the light is red. Once stopped, a driver may begin to make a turn on red after determining that there are no pedestrians or oncoming traffic in the roadway. There is no blanket ability for a driver to turn right on red without first stopping.
Is the Notice of Violation placed on my Driving Record?
A Notice of Violation is not reported on your Driver’s License because it is not a Uniform Traffic Citation. At this stage of the proceeding, only the owner and the city are aware of its existence.
I received a Notice of Violation, what are my choices of how to handle?
If you receive a Notice of Violation, you have 60 days to pay the violation, submit an affidavit for an allowable defense, or contest the Notice and ask for a hearing. If you ask for a hearing, the case will be held in front of a local hearing officer and there may be additional costs associated with the Notice.
How do I contest the charges?
You must come down to the Winter Park Police Department in person and fill out a formal request to contest the charges. Florida Law requires that certain information be relayed to you regarding your choice, and this will be done at the police department. The Winter Park Police Department is at 500 North Virginia Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789.
Make sure to bring your Notice of Violation with you to the Winter Park Police Department.
How do I pay for the violation?
Go to viewcitation.com. You will be required to enter your citation and PIN number which is on the top right portion of your Notice of Violation. You can also view the incident on this site. If you feel uncomfortable following the directions online, or do not have access to a computer, the Winter Park Police Department can also accept payments if you appear in person at 500 North Virginia Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789 during normal business hours. Payments must be made by credit card, check, or money order. Cash will not be accepted.
How do I assert an allowable defense?
Follow the instructions on the back of your Notice of Violation, and make sure the document is notarized.
What additional costs will be assessed if I ask for a hearing before a Local Hearing Officer?
If you request a hearing and are found not guilty, you will not be responsible to make any payments for the violation. If you are found guilty of the violation, you will be responsible for paying the $158 for the violation and will be assessed $137 extra for administrative costs.
What if I elect to have a hearing but need to change the date or I change my mind?
Once you elect to have a hearing, if you need to change the date or decide to enter a plea, there is a statutory $50 cancellation fee. If you need to change the date, you must do so in writing within 5 days of the set hearing date and deliver to the Winter Park Police Department.
Do I need a lawyer to represent me in front of the Local Hearing Officer?
You can choose to retain a lawyer if you wish to be represented or you can represent yourself. The choice is yours. The hearing will be an administrative hearing and not a formal court hearing. The rules of evidence do not apply at this hearing, so you or whoever represents you, will not make any formal legal objections. The hearing officer will simply watch the video, listen to what the person charged wants to say, listen to any additional witnesses, and make a finding based on what was presented.
The decision to retain a lawyer is up to you.
What happens if I fail to pay, fail to comply with the Local Hearing Officer’s order, or Fail to Appear at the hearing?
Florida Statute 318.15 states that if someone “fails to enter into, or comply with the terms of, a penalty payment plan, or order with the clerk to the local hearing officer or failed to appear at a scheduled hearing”, the person’s name and vehicle registration number will be provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the person’s license plate or revalidation sticker will be withheld until payment.