Many law enforcement officials have taken steps to increase numbers of red light cameras that are placed at intersections. They are intended to help drivers avoid running a red light. It is believed this will help lower numbers of deaths caused by accidents. Whether or not this is true, is a topic of serious debate in many cities around the country.
Red Light Tickets
When a vehicle goes over a sensor at an intersection and the light is red, a red light camera is triggered. It is designed to take a picture of the diver and the license plate of the vehicle. A ticket is then mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. It will contain a citation showing the dollar amount of the fine that must be paid and a copy of the photo evidence. The ticket will also include information on how to challenge the citation.
Driver Not Registered Owner
It is possible a vehicle owner’s friend or family member was driving the car. Should a driver use this to challenge their ticket, a judge may ask the vehicle owner to identify the individual in the photograph. This could cause a ticket to be dismissed. Law enforcement will then be responsible for identifying the driver and sending them the citation.
Not Properly Working
It is the responsibility of law enforcement to prove a red light camera device was in proper working order when a ticket is issued. It is possible to obtain evidence that clearly demonstrates a red light camera wasn’t in proper working order when a ticket is issued. If this can be proven, a ticket may be dismissed.
Avoiding Greater Harm Or Accident
It is possible for a person to tell a judge they ran the red light so they could avoid being involved in an accident. It is also possible they did this to avoid experiencing significant harm to themselves or another person. If a judge believes a person ran the red light out of necessity, they may find a person not guilty of a traffic violation.
It is often possible for a person to challenge the clarity of the photo used to issue a ticket. Some drivers have successfully argued the evidence provided by the red light camera is not enough to prove their guilt. Many things can affect the clarity of the photograph provided by the red light camera. This includes weather conditions and more. An unclear image isn’t able to show the individual or vehicle that ran a red light. This means guilt can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The topic of the constitutionality of red light cameras is an ongoing discussion. The use of them to issue tickets has been banned in more than 25 states. In California, a judge hearing the recent court case of People v. Goldsmith ruled red light traffic tickets are constitutional in that state.
No Accident Decrease
A television station in California looked at all the accidents at intersections where red light cameras were placed. They reviewed six months of accident statistics. Out of the 32 intersections where the cameras were placed, accidents increased at 20 of them. Nine intersections experienced decreases and three remained statistically the same. The Chicago Tribune also commissioned a study of red light cameras. Those study results clearly showed the city’s red light camera program was not resulting in a decrease in accidents at intersections.
Many cities around the country are not installing red light cameras or are thinking about removing the ones they have installed. The frustration for these devices is not just from drivers who can be forced to pay large fines. There are now judges who are dismissing thousands of these tickets. Many government inspectors are discovering significant flaws with this equipment. Proponents of red light cameras state they are not trying to give tickets. The goal is to try and get motorists to stop at red lights.
Contact us today if you need help in fighting a traffic ticket related. We have over 25 years of experience fighting traffic tickets and helping people reinstate their license.