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Red-Light Camera Violations Routinely Overturned For Funeral Processions, PPA Says

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Drivers who are part of funeral processions don't have to worry about getting nabbed by red-light cameras in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority says the photographs generated by every red-light camera violation are reviewed twice: once by police, and once by a PPA employee.  And those reviews are usually able to determine when a funeral procession is making its way through an intersection with red-light cameras.

"In the overwhelming majority of the cases that involve a funeral procession, it's obvious that there are a string of cars all with some kind of indication on them indicating that they're (in) a funeral," notes Rick Dickson, deputy executive director of the Parking Authority.  "In those cases, those photographs are not processed as violations, and the operators of the vehicle would never receive a notice indicating that there was a violation."

Dickson says in rare instances, such as when a few cars get separated from a funeral procession, citations might be accidentally issued.  In those cases, he says, the driver need only send in a letter from the funeral director in order to have the matter dismissed -- without having to attend a hearing.

He says that has happened only a handful of times over the ten years since the inception of red-light cameras in Philadelphia.


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