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Old 01-19-2018, 01:00 PM
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Default Canarian Weekly: Traffic-light cameras illegal, says top Court

CAMERAS at traffic lights on red, designed to catch and fine drivers who cross them, are “illegal”. And, says the Spanish Supreme Court, any penalties imposed as a result are null and void.

The country’s highest court rejected an appeal by Catarroja Council, in the Valencia province, against a verdict from November 2014.

It scrapped the Council’s 200-euro fine and loss of four licence points, imposed on a driver who jumped a red light and was caught on camera.

And, as the appeal was unsuccessful, the Catarroja Council has been ordered to pay legal costs, totalling 2,000 euros.

The local authority maintained that the original court decision was “erroneous” and “seriously damaging for the general interest”.

But traffic-light cameras are not under State control because Spanish law does not cover them, make them obligatory or regulate their presence.

The Supreme Court judge said these cameras suppose a “lack of legal security” for the public and did not “carry any guarantees” when taking the photographs.

They do not guarantee road-safety, and violate the concept of the driver being “innocent until proven guilty”, says the verdict.

The results of the case were announced by the European Automobile Association (AEA), which has denounced the 100-plus fines levied by town councils, based on traffic-light camera footage.

Mario Arnaldo, the AEA spokesman, said the Supreme Court decision ratified that of a case in November 2015, when local authorities in San Sebastián, in the Basque Country, appealed a verdict that annulled a fine and loss of licence points, levied on a driver caught on camera jumping a red light.
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