Your Guide to Red Light Cameras
What Is a Red Light Camera?
A red light camera is a camera that cities install for the purpose of catching motorists in the process of running a red light. These cameras give the authorities the ability to fine these motorists.
How Does a Red Light Camera Work?
The city installs a radar or a sensor that captures the speed of the vehicles that pass by. When one is suspected of running a red light, the system takes two photographs of the vehicle. One of the photographs is of the vehicle when it is at the white line where cars are supposed to stop when the light is red. The second picture shows the vehicle after the light has turned red, but the car is in the intersection at that point.
In addition to the information listed above, the red light camera also records the following data:
- The Time
- The Vehicle’s Speed
- The Date
With this information, cameras create citations for those driving the offending vehicles. Within about 30 days, the motorist will need to pay the ticket unless he or she is going to appeal it.
How Do You Appeal a Ticket from a Red Light Camera?
When a motorist doesn’t believe that he deserves the ticket, he can refuse to pay the fine and appeal it. To appeal the red light ticket, the motorist must request an appeal within 30 days of receiving it. Each city developed its own rules where red light cameras are concerned, so a motorist must consult with a traffic lawyer to learn those rules and regulations. If this occurs in Guilford County, please consult your local Greensboro Traffic Lawyer or local High Point Traffic Lawyer for legal advice.
People contest red light camera tickets by arguing the following:
- When the car ran the red light, someone other than the owner of the vehicle was driving. To present this defense, the owner of the vehicle must have an affidavit from the driver of the vehicle that gives the person’s name and address.
- After the vehicle was stolen, the motorist ran the red light. This defense requires a police report or the report from the insurance company.
- The citation came more than three months after the alleged violation. North Carolina law states that a motorist is not responsible for a citation if the owner receives it after this length of time has elapsed.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
The appeals process is very informal, but it would still be a good idea to have a Guilford County traffic lawyer in the room with you. You will need to present evidence to your hearing officer and make your arguments, but a traffic ticket attorney Guilford County would be in a much better position to do this than you are. After the hearing is over, you will be required to wait until the hearing officer makes a decision.
A North Carolina Traffic Lawyer will advise you on whether or not you need to post a bond before you will be granted a hearing. If this occurred in High Point, please contact local High Point Traffic Attorneys to represent you at your hearing.
What Are the Possible Consequences?
If you fail to pay your fine on time, your city may charge a late penalty, and some cities may use the civil courts to force you to pay. You will not receive points on your driving record if you fail to pay a red light ticket, and your insurance company will not penalize you. Failure to pay a red light ticket doesn’t affect the registration of your vehicle or your license. Contact us at the law office of Tony Huynh if you have any questions.