Ruling doesn't affect Green Cove red light cameras


GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – An appeals court's ruling that Orlando's red-light camera ordinance conflicts with state law does not affect the three red light cameras in Green Cove Springs.

The ruling has set up a potential case for the Florida Supreme Court. The Fifth District Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a lower-court decision that declared the ordinance invalid. It ruled against Orlando and Lasercraft Inc., a company that installed the cameras aimed at cracking down on drivers who do not stop at red lights.

The ruling said, for example, that the ordinance conflicted with state traffic laws because it allows city code-enforcement officers to review photos and help determine whether infractions have occurred. In Green Cove Springs, police officers look at the photos, which is what state law requires.

As another example, the ruling said hearings are conducted by attorneys appointed by the city.

Michael Udowychenko challenged the ordinance after getting cited for running a red light in 2009 and taking the matter to a hearing officer. The appeals court said its ruling differs from an opinion issued last year by the Third District Court of Appeal in an Aventura case and took a step known as "certifying" the issue, which can lead to the Supreme Court considering it.