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Traffic light camera footage 'not valid' for fining drivers
CAMERAS at red traffic lights designed to catch and fine drivers who cross them are 'illegal' and any penalties imposed as a result are null and void, according to the Supreme Court.
The highest contentious audience in Spain rejected an appeal by the town council of Catarroja (Valencia province) against a verdict from November 2014 which annulled the €200 fine and loss of four licence points suffered by a driver who jumped a red light and was caught on camera.
With the appeal being unsuccessful, Catarroja town council has been ordered to pay legal costs totalling €2,000.
According to the local authority, the original court decision was 'erroneous' and 'seriously damaging for the general interest'.
But traffic light cameras are not under State control as no Spanish law covers them, makes them obligatory or regulates their presence.
The Supreme Court judge said these cameras suppose a 'lack of legal security' for the public and did not 'carry any guarantees' when taking the photographs.
They do not guarantee road safety and violate the concept of the driver being 'innocent until proven guilty', the verdict says.
The results of the case were announced by the European Automobile Association (AEA), which has denounced that over 100 fines have been levied by town councils based upon traffic light camera footage.
AEA spokesman Mario Arnaldo says the Supreme Court decision ratifies that of a case in November 2015 when local authorities in San Sebastián, in the Basque Country, appealed a verdict that annulled a fine and loss of licence points levied on a driver who was caught on camera jumping a red light.
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