photo credit: trekandshoot // Shutterstock
The City of Greenville introduced red light cameras to its residents in November of 2017. It hasn’t even hit the year marker yet, but more than 14,000 tickets have been issued and legal issues are on the rise.
In June, Mary Vaitovas filed a lawsuit against the City of Greenville, Pitt County Board of Education, Attorney General Josh Stein, N.C. Senate President Pro-Tempore Phil Berger and Speaker of the House Tim Moore, questioning whether the city is allowed by the state to pass a local act to establish the program and cameras. Vaitovas was issued a ticket for running a red light at the intersection of Fire Tower Road and Arlington Blvd in March. She is asking to be refunded her $100 for the citation, and is asking the courts to declare the red light camera program in violation of the state constitution. According to Reflector, Vaitovas’s lawyer Paul Stam argues that state law does not allow local governmental bodies to pass legislation that narrowly regulates some matters, including public health. He said the red light program is clearly designed around the idea of increasing public safety and health, making the local act inappropriate.
Since this is a state law issue, the case will be heard by a 3-judge panel in Wake County. The case is still waiting on a judge to appoint the panel and for a date to be set.
As far as money goes, the city has earned about $1,420,400 since putting the cameras up. The money goes to the school system, who have to pay $31.85 per ticket of the $100 to the American Traffic Solutions and $6,250 a month to the officer who approves each citation. The money so far has been spent on replacing dozens of outdated computers, safety equipment and teachers computers. In-school and bus cameras, swipe cards, and other security equipment are in the process of being bought. In all, more than $700,000 has been spent.
Written by Clarke Jones