The notorious red light cameras in North Bay Village see all and fine all for running a red light without discrimination, even those who no human traffic cop would dare right up. Like, for example, those taking part in a funeral procession. Yet, the cameras apparently made no exception for mourning, and ticketed a woman taking part in a procession for her late uncle. Update: North Bay Village has now decided to drop the ticket.
Miriam Barkley tells WSVN that she and about 50 friends and family members were taking part in the procession back in February. They had four police escorts, and a motorcycle cop had stopped traffic to wave them through an intersection despite a red light.
No one told the red light camera though, and a $158 tickets arrived later in Barkley's mail box.
"I had no idea, no idea," she told the station. "I was grieving my family member, and we were driving. I would never know. Obviously, we felt safe, because we had four police escorts."
Florida laws say its completely legal to run through a red light if an officer waves you through, and specifically mentions funeral processions:
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(b) When the funeral lead vehicle lawfully enters an intersection, either by reason of a traffic control device or at the direction of law enforcement personnel, the remaining vehicles in the funeral procession may follow through the intersection regardless of any traffic control devices or right-of-way provisions prescribed by state or local law.
(c) Funeral processions shall have the right-of-way at intersections regardless of traffic control devices...
Municipalities that use red light cameras are supposed to have someone review the pictures taken, but if someone reviewed Barkley's citation, they apparently didn't see the Miami Beach police officer in the intersection waving her through.
"Obviously, nobody looked at the video," Barkley tells the station.