Florida cities that installed red light cameras before the state authorized them may have to return millions of dollars in fines now that the Supreme Court has ruled the use of those cameras was illegal.

Red light cameras in Orlando and Aventura were challenged, and two appeals courts had conflicting opinions on the matter.

The 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach said Orlando's red-light camera ordinance conflicted with state traffic laws. The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami, however, upheld red-light camera fines collected in Aventura before the new law was passed.

The court ruled Thursday that red light camera ordinances in Aventura and Orlando violated a state law that requires uniform traffic enforcement.

The decision only applies to cities that installed red light cameras before a 2010 law allowing them was enacted. During that time the City made more than $4 million dollars of red-light cameras.

  • Number of tickets issued during this timeframe: 48,464
  • Amount collected: $4,448,375

A public information officer from the Mayor's office says the ruling is not about refunds, and issued the following statement:

"The City implemented its Red Light Camera program, ORLANDO STOPS, because red light violations are among the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions and often result in fatalities and injuries and the State was unwilling to take action and enact legislation so the City started ORLANDO STOPS. Following the lead of the City, the State has since put legislation into place.

"We are proud of the role ORLANDO STOPS has played in making the City of Orlando a safer community.  Not only has it saved the lives and prevented injuries to citizens and visitors, but it has also allowed the Orlando Police Department to address other public safety challenges, ultimately, making Orlando’s streets safer."