6/30/2007North Carolina Supreme Court Eliminates Profit for Red Light Cameras
The North Carolina Supreme Court let stand a ruling ordering 90 percent of revenue from red light camera programs be given to public schools.
The North Carolina Supreme Court delivered a fatal blow to red light cameras on Thursday. The court denied a motion from the city of High Point to reconsider a state appeals court decision ordering revenue from red light camera systems be paid into the public school system (read opinion). The supreme court also granted the Guilford Board of Education's motion to dismiss the case.
That means the law of the land in North Carolina is that ninety percent of the fine revenue collected by automated enforcement systems must be handed over to the school system for use in educational programs. Instead of making money as hoped, the cities using cameras would lose at least $30 for every $50 citation issued. Several cities dropped their ticketing programs as financial prospects began to look bleak. So far, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville and High Point have shut down ticketing operations.
High Point must now pay Guilford County Schools $1,453,703 while Charlotte owes about $4.6 million to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The North Carolina move follows the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that struck down red light cameras as a violation of state law (read opinion) and the California Supreme Court's decision not to review a appellate ruling that found a city operated its red light camera program in violation of state law. Automated enforcement cases are currently pending in the supreme courts of Iowa and Ohio.
SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA
Decided by the Court in Conference: 27 June 2007
Posted on the Internet Web Site: 28 June 2007 at 11:22 a.m.
Henry H. Shavitz v. City of High Point, et al.
1. Defendant's (High Point) NOA Based Upon a Constitutional Question (COA05-571) - - -
2. Defendant's (High Point) PDR Under N.C.G.S. 7A-31. DENIED
3. Defendant's (Guilford Bd. of Ed.) Motion to Dismiss Appeal. ALLOWED