New law could prevent right turn on red traffic cam fines

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CENTRAL FLORIDA —

Red-light cameras often treat drivers who make a right turn on red the same as if they ran the light.

Channel 9's Christopher Heath discovered how a new plan would give drivers a break.

The Legislature just rewrote the law to prevent cities from hitting drivers with red-light tickets, provided the driver stops behind the line before heading into the intersection to make a right.

Currently, unless a driver makes the stop on red the right way, the unblinking eye of the red-light camera may hit him or her with a hefty fine, even if they have a right to make a turn on red.

Nick Petro made a right on red and paid the price.  He said his fine was $175 and he didn't run the light.

"It was about to turn red and I rounded after that. It was a yellow," Petro said.

At some intersections, there are several feet from the stop line to the corner of the intersection. Many drivers have to pull forward across the line to make a right on red.

Traffic attorney Albert Pucylowski represents drivers with red-light tickets. He said while the law allows for a careful right on red, the cameras do not.

"At the hearing in the video you get to see that they did it in a prudent, careful manner. They're still being found guilty and assessed a full fine," Pucylowski said.

The bill passed the Legislature with overwhelming support. It is now on the governor's desk waiting for his signature.

Once signed, the law will take effect on July 1.

It could save drivers like Petro fines in the future.

"(I) paid it. Didn't do anything about it," Petro said.