• by Eli Moore Traffic Attorney

BEST WAYS TO FIGHT A RED LIGHT CAMERA TICKET


Red light camera tickets are becoming increasingly common. They are installed, usually at busy intersections, as a way to spot drivers who disregard a red light traffic signal. These cameras, triggered by sensors when a vehicle enters an intersection while the traffic light is red, take a photo of the front license plate and driver. Typically, you won't realize that the camera has caught you running a red light until you receive a ticket with a photo of the license plate. In New York, a red light camera ticket is the responsibility of the car’s owner.

As compared to a red light ticket administered by a police officer which carries heavier fines as well as points, the consequences of getting a red light camera ticket may seem less consequential. Red light camera tickets are treated by traffic court like parking tickets, with a low fine and no points attached. However, if you believe your red light camera ticket is unjustified, it is worth fighting the ticket. You have 30 days to challenge a red light camera ticket and there are ways that, with the help of an experienced traffic attorney, you can be successful:

1. Use the photo as evidence. Poor image quality may be a reason for arguing against the validity of the picture.

2. Prove that you were not driving at the time the photo was taken. Ideally, you should be able to provide evidence of where you were during the time the ticket was given.

3. Show that the traffic light was defective. A traffic lawyer may be able to do this by observing the length of time the yellow light is illuminated and compare that to the standards of the jurisdiction. If the length of time that the yellow light is lit does not meet the traffic requirements of the local area, then you can use that to support your defense.

4. Argue that you acted out of necessity. If you passed through an intersection to avoid harm or a serious accident, the judge may find that you are not guilty of the red light camera ticket.

5. No one from the red light company appears in court to authenticate the photo. If you've requested this court appearance and there was a "no show," you may ask the judge to throw out the red light photo evidence.

In general, it is difficult to successfully fight a red light camera ticket so seek the advice of a traffic lawyer to see if your case is worth fighting.

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