Should You Contest a Red Light Camera Ticket?

Should You Contest a Red Light Camera Ticket?

Red light cameras are traffic enforcement tools installed for public safety.

After running a red light, the camera will take pictures and a short video before collecting information about your vehicle and the incident to issue a ticket. 

Red light tickets can be costly, which is why many vehicle owners choose to contest them. While the cost is undoubtedly one important reason to fight a red light ticket, many vehicle operators decide to do so for these reasons: 

The Camera Is Inaccurate

As far as defining legality of red light cameras goes, most people know they can’t fight a ticket on this front. These cameras are legal to use in many parts of the country. However, some people fight red light tickets by saying the camera malfunctioned or recorded incorrect data. With the right red light ticket lawyer on your side, you might be able to prove that a camera wasn’t functioning correctly, wasn’t calibrated properly, or didn’t have the correct timing. 

It Was an Emergency

Not everyone runs red lights because they want to. Sometimes, they can run them out of necessity. They might have needed to proceed through a red light to avoid a collision or even respond to a medical emergency. 

In these situations, you may be able to use the necessity defense. In law, this form of defense means that a person’s illegal conduct was the lesser of two evils. You must be able to meet several criteria, like preventing injury to someone else and having no reasonable alternative.

Weather Conditions Affected Visibility

Over 1.2 million traffic accidents each year are weather-related. As a result, you can safely assume that at least a few red light-running incidents relate to the weather conditions. If you believe that fog, heavy rain, snow, or similar stopped you from seeing a red light, your chosen lawyer may be able to use this as your defense. 

Your defense may be even stronger if you claim that snow on an energy-efficient traffic light caused you to run a red light. As LED bulbs run cooler than incandescent bulbs, they aren’t always able to melt the snow. The San Diego Union-Tribute reported on this issue in 2009. 

The Vehicle Was Incorrectly Identified

Red light cameras don’t always get it right. If vehicles in photos aren’t clearly identified, there’s room for error regarding the identification of the license plate information. In this situation, there’s a chance you may receive a traffic ticket for a vehicle you don’t own and weren’t driving. Navigating the legal system for traffic tickets can be daunting, which is why contacting a lawyer can be helpful. They can fight to clear your name on your behalf. 

The Timing Isn’t Right

Traffic lights operate on timers and with detectors to ensure adequate time for a car to move through an intersection before the light turns red. Some drivers may argue that the yellow light’s duration is too short, meaning they didn’t have enough time to react and stop safely before the light turned red. 

Whether you contest a red light camera ticket or pay the fine can be a personal preference. However, if you can relate to these situations above, you may see the value in reaching out to a red-light ticket lawyer for help. They can fight for your right to a fair defense and may even achieve your preferred outcome.

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