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Michigan Attorney General Says Red Light Cameras Illegal
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox declared February 14th that the use of red light cameras or speed cameras within the state is illegal. State Representative Barbara A. Farrah (D-Wayne County) asked Cox to rule on whether a city could use home rule authority to issue photographic tickets.
Cox's ruling said, "It is my opinion, therefore, that an ordinance adopted by a city pursuant to its authority under the Home Rule City Act... that allows the city to issue citations for civil infractions for disobeying a traffic control signal based on the photograph or video produced by an unmanned traffic monitoring device at a location other than a railroad grade crossing conflicts with the Michigan Vehicle Code... and, thus, is invalid."
Cox found that because state law established red light running as a criminal violation, any local ordinance declaring such a violation a civil matter would be "in conflict" with the law.
Cox also pointed out that state law
authorizes photo ticketing at railroad crossings, but not red
light or speed cameras. According to the ruling, legislators would
have explicitly authorized red light cameras if the intended to do
The Michigan AG’s ruling follows a recent judicial ruling in Iowa. Last month, Scott County District Court Judge Gary McKenrick, ruled that the City of Davenport doesn’t have the authority to adopt an ordinance that conflicts with the state motor vehicle code. The case could become a class action to force cities to refund fines collected by camera vendors.
According to the
Iowa lawsuit, the fine generated from the violation "is merely
a revenue generating measure which has been and continues to be
illegally imposed and collected from the plaintiff and all others
similarly situated and such collection is void and should be
The Best Way to Fight Red Light and Traffic Cameras? Lawsuits!