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Miami, Davie put the brakes on red-light cameras — for now

(MIAMI HERALD)   Starting Monday, drivers in Miami and Davie who skate through certain red lights won’t be getting tickets — at least for the time being.

The two cities are temporarily suspending their red-light camera programs as the result of a new state law requiring municipalities to hold their own hearings for appeals of red-light camera citations.

Neither Miami nor Davie has been able to set up a special hearing board, though the new measure takes effect Monday, along with a host of other new state laws.

Doral is in a similar position and will likely follow suit, City Manager Joe Carollo said Thursday. “It appears that based on what the Legislature passed … we would end up having to suspend the red-light cameras beginning July 1, until the council decides which way it wants to go when it begins [meeting] again in August,” he said.

Still, some other municipalities, including Hollywood and North Miami, say they are on track to establish special appeals systems by the deadline.

“We already have a special magistrate process for our code enforcement process, so we’re looking at expanding that program to cover red-light citations,” Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey said.

In Miami, no citations will be issued for at least two weeks, when the City Commission will meet next and take a final vote on whether to have special magistrates hear the city’s red-light camera cases.

That ordinance won tentative approval 3 to 2 Thursday, but not before commissioners blasted the administration for waiting until the last minute to bring the proposal to a vote. Commissioner Frank Carollo said the measure should have been discussed in May, when the Florida Legislature approved the bill requiring municipalities to hold the hearings.

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