PEMBROKE PINES (CBS4) – Thousands of drivers who have paid tickets due to red-light cameras in Pembroke Pines will soon get some of their money back. Officials are preparing to issue refunds for tickets issued before a state law took effect in July 2010.
“Because it’s the right thing to do. It puts it to bed. Nothing hanging over the program anymore and we know we can go forward because the law says we can,” explained City Commissioner Carl Shechter.
A class action lawsuit has pushed Pembroke Pines to settle their case out of court.
“I think that there are many others that will opt into the settlement.” said Shecter.
Three thousand drivers will see anywhere from $25 to $125. CBS4′s David Sutta found Pembroke Pines residents are split on the refunds.
Resident Ciro Cardenas said, “That’s good for them. I’m happy for them.” Meanwhile William Tejada thought the opposite “They violated the law so they have to pay. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”
Driver John Blount is thrilled by the news. He’s one of the lucky ones getting money back.
“I wish I was getting it all back. I think they should take those cameras down or have somebody man them.” said Blount.
Attorney Brett Luskin, who won a landmark red light camera case in Aventura last year, says this is just the beginning. “In the next few months we will see more and more settlements.” Luskin said.
Whether the streets are safer with the cameras or not Luskin is confident all these tickets will be thrown out.
“Basically everything these cities were doing with these cameras was completely against the law, they knew it, American Traffic Solutions, the company behind the cameras knew it, and they went it did it anyway and collected money hand or fist,” said Luskin.
The settlement still has to be approved by a judge. If it is, this my be the beginning of a trend for the rest of South Florida.