The annoying red light ticket can be a major pain. Many places are even outlawing red light cameras because many people claim they do more harm than keep people from running red lights. The good news is that in some instances you can contest a red light ticket and win without paying a fine.
Read The Ticket Thoroughly
Check the red light ticket’s photo and video. Some states send both video and photo with the citation while others you must ask for them. Photos are taken as you move through the light resulting many times in a blurry picture. In most situations there is not a clear photo of the driver so it is hard to prove it is even you driving. The license plate number is usually clear, but always make sure it is your license plate number. The ticket should also contain information as to where the incident occurred as well as the time and place. Make sure all of this information is accurate.
Examine the Location
There must be signs in each red light camera location. These signs must be easily visible to drivers. If these signs are missing or not visible, the red light ticket can be dismissed.
Know Your State Laws
Red light tickets have different rules in some states. Most states send the ticket to the registered car owner (even if they were not driving) and order them to pay a fine. The offense is then scratched from your record. “Driver Responsibility” states like California and Arizona not only fine the owner, but also place points on their driving record.
Declaration of Non-Responsibility
One of the easiest ways to get rid of a red light ticket is to not be the person driving in the picture. You must truly not be at fault to fill out this form. A Declaration of Non-Responsibility form can be mailed in or filled out online in some states. The judge will then rule and send you the decision via mail.
Go to Trial
You will have to get a presentation ready for trial. It is a hassle many times to go trial, but can be worth it especially if you are in a “Driver Responsibility” state. Introduce the photo and video into evidence as hearsay. Ask how the photo proves the traffic light was even working properly. The prosecutor will likely not be able to provide evidence the red light camera was effectively operating at the time. They would have to have a witness or an employee from the camera’s company. Witnesses don’t usually hang out once they see a red light camera flash just to check out the driver.
Get a Traffic Lawyer
Traffic lawyers have knowledge of all traffic laws in your state. It might cost a small fine, but the fine might be worth ridding of this annoying ticket. Traffic lawyers will do all of the work for you behind the scenes and it will be as if you never ran the red light in the first place.