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"Bobbie Maresca" (2020-06-07)

Hidden Pictures: Constitutional Issues With the Red-Light Program
In 2005, Philadelphia started its participation at a negative balance light camera program. Per the program, cameras are already create at high-risk intersections in the city so that you can effectively catch motorists running red lights. So far, the cameras have been setup throughout the city, such as the intersections around City Hall at a couple of intersections along Roosevelt Presently, a debate is ongoing in Harrisburg as to if to carry on and/or extend the red-light put in Philadelphia and into in regards to a dozen other Pennsylvania cities.
There isn't doubt the red-light-program has had huge amounts of money to Philadelphia in traffic fines and arguably has produced our roadways safer; however, the question whether or not this program is constitutional remains outstanding. I have discussed this challenge before, during 2009, and, subsequently, there's been little discussion about the constitutional areas of the red-light cameras.
The constitutional issues are pretty clear. A traffic violation is a summary criminal offenses (see: 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 106(c); Stumpf v. Nye, 2008 Pa. Super. 122 (2008), Commonwealth v. Henry, 2008 Pa. Super. 20 (2008), and Commonwealth v. Gimbara, 2003 Pa. Super. 394 (2003)). The burden of proof the commonwealth must meet, even for summary criminal offenses, is beyond an acceptable doubt (see Commonwealth v. A.D.B., 752 A.2d 438, Pa.Cmwlth. 2000 and Commonwealth v. Banellis, how to get more people to your website by 452 Pa.Super. 478 (1996)). Logically speaking, then, the responsibility of proof for the commonwealth for the summary crime of an traffic booster generator by violation like managing a red light is proving it beyond an acceptable doubt.
Despite the clear law described above, pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S.A. Section 3116(b), motorists caught through the red-light program are presumed to become liable and possess to prove their very own innocence. Clearly, the responsibility of proof underneath the red-light program turns the regular American jurisprudence of "innocent until proven guilty" on its head. The single biggest reason for the constitutional dilemma is that this photographs taken are just with the rear in the car, instead of the face with the driver, capturing merely the license plate and make and model in the car. At least if your photographs were with the driver's face, there would be convincing evidence of who the driving force was who ran the red light. As it stands now, the ticket for owning a traffic light beneath the red-light program is assessed on the owner of the car photographed from behind, regardless of who your driver was at the time in the violation, despite this not being the situation for other traffic violations.
I are already told how the photographs aren't taken of an driver's face to guard his / her privacy, however which has no logical basis, as the license plate and earn and model from the car reveals equally as much information about the owner from the car as photographs in the front. Additionally, no person sees the photograph except for PennDOT, the owner with the car and maybe the court and Somehow, I simply don't think opposing basic American constitutional jurisprudence may be worth the price tag on allegedly protecting privacy.
As the controversy on this system continues in Harrisburg, I hope that before any decision is made, some consideration is created of the constitutional issues described above and that our rights are protected. Allowing our rights to deteriorate with this limited way without opposition is often a harbinger for even more erosion. Now that we now have the chance to address this problem again, I hope the debate on the red-light program highlights this very important
This article was originally published within the Legal Intelligencer Blog on April 17, 2012.