5/13/2005DC Appeals Court Unsympathetic to Camera Challenges
During oral arguments in a challenge to the constitutionality of camera enforcement, District of Columbia Court of Appeals judges seemed unpersuaded.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals heard arguments in a challenge to the city's photo radar and red light camera program. The court listened to oral arguments to an appeal of a DC Superior Court ruling last June that threw out a constitutional challenge primarily on procedural grounds.
The case was brought on behalf of Emelike Agomo, whose automobile was photographed speeding 18 times throughout the District. Agomo can prove that he was in Texas at the time of the infractions. Attorneys argued that it violates constitutional protections to presume the guilt of their client and require him to identify the driver responsible. Agomo left the car with friends and is unable to swear that any one of them was driving at any particular time as the city requires. Washington Post columnist Warren Brown ran into the same problem.
Judges at yesterday's hearing focused on procedural matters, and hinted that they didn't see a clear basis upon which to rule on the issue. The District has made more than $100 million in revenue from photo enforcement since 1999.