Lawmaker’s Investigating Buffalo’s Traffic Court
If you are one of the hundreds of drivers recently ticketed to appear in Buffalo Traffic Court this could be good news.
Buffalo City Traffic Court is currently the focus of an investigation by lawmakers according to a story aired on WIVB-TV, which could ultimately lead to hundreds of violations being dismissed. The issue is the allegations that a hearing officer was acting as prosecutor, judge, and jury.
This is the latest controversy involving the cameras located in Buffalo school zones. City officials conceded last year that many of the school zone violations were not getting processed on time, resulting in thousands being dismissed.
The Law states that when a speed camera catches a car exceeding the 15 miles-an-hour speed limit in a school zone, the violation notice has to be mailed to the car owner within 14 days.
Some owners who have been challenging their violations in Traffic court and claim the hearing officer has also been acting as the prosecutor.
“It is very clear that the hearing officers in the Traffic Bureau are also acting as prosecutors. This totally unacceptable, it is unethical,” said Buffalo attorney Peter Reese. Reese told the Council’s Legislation Committee’s Zoom meeting that he has gotten a number of tickets dismissed but city officials point out, the camera citations are not the same as moving violations which have to follow a different procedure.
With Buffalo schools resuming some classes on February 1, various members of the Council believe the cameras should be temporarily paused.
” I would hope that the Administration and the Council can get together to discuss how we can hold off on anything taking place where people would be issued tickets until everything is cleared up,” said South District Councilman Chris Scanlon.
Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer said there seems to be some misunderstanding about procedures regarding camera violations versus moving violations which are more serious and enforced by police.