Manatee County rolling right-on-red ticket a travesty

April 15, 2014 

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Sgt. Mike Kenyan with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office traffic enforcement unit approves a violation after reviewing the video. Kenyan is one of the examiners for red light violators caught on red light cameras in Manatee County. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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I had my right-on-red hearing last week, along with a bunch of other "perpetrators," all of us caught "red"-handed by Officer "Camera" and, his partner, Deputy "Video," for making a dreaded right-on-red without coming to a complete stop and counting to 5, in thousands.

It was like the judge and deputy were doing us all a favor, as one after another of us went up to the podium for why we shouldn't have to pay $247 for a prudent and safe right-turn-on-red even after slowing down to 10 mph or so.

Had we been in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Pete, or even the city of Bradenton, our cases would have been tossed. Here, in this courtroom, "cha-ching," our favor was the original $158 (or $247 with no points) on making a prudent and safe right on red, legal in the state of Florida per the law that was changed last June to stop rogue counties from re-interpreting the state RLC law.

"You have to actually stop!" Sorry, no, not according to the law in the state of Florida, as long as it was safe and prudent right-on-red.

There, I got to say and not be cut-off by the judge.

Ironically, SR 70 (at Creekwood), where I was fined for my turns, also happens to be the same road that the guy in the Ferrari in the courtroom today was caught doing over 100 mph on. He was granted a reduction in speed, I ended up stroking a check for a total of $429 for two rolling right-on-reds, which, according to the state of Florida, is legal when done safely and prudently.

I'd rather have donated it to my kid's county public schools instead of getting fleeced by the Manatee County traffic folks.

John V. DiPasqua

Bradenton

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