Are Red Light Cameras Legal in California?
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The traffic violation that is most frustrating for California drivers is the red light camera ticket. Everyone hates opening up the mailbox and finding that ticket. However, you may wonder are red light cameras legal in California?
As it seems, California cities and towns are continuously going back and forth on whether or not red light cameras should be used. Furthermore, there are many scams and misinformation about these types of tickets. So, let’s take a closer look.
The answer is yes. Red light cameras are currently legal in California. Since the introduction of the California Vehicle Code section 21455.5, allowing red light cameras, many California cities started using automated enforcement cameras to monitor red light violations.
There does need to be a warning sign posted that is visible from all directions. Remember that red light camera warning signs can be posted at the start of city limits, highway entrances, or the actual intersections.
Red light cameras are installed at an intersection and synchronized with traffic lights. Basically, a ticket gets issued when the sensor detects a car crossing the line after the light has changed to red. If you are in the intersection simultaneously when the light turns red or enters an intersection of a yellow, you should not receive a ticket.
Red-light cameras capture two photos—one of a car crossing the intersection during a red light. And the second photo is of the car in the middle of the intersection. The second photo is evidence that the car entered the intersection purposefully. Also, it contains the date, time, location, violation number and car speed. More details on how how the cameras work here: https://www.drivinglaws.org/resources/traffic-tickets/moving-violations/running-red-lights-and-stop–2
If you are found guilty, a point will automatically be added to your driving record. The point can cause higher insurance rates for the next three years. And you may be suspended from driving as well. Of course, that is dependent on how many points your record may currently hold.
Additionally, you will have to pay a fine of around $480 for a red light camera ticket. In most states, this ticket would only cost around $100, but in California, the average red light camera ticket cost is $480. That is why these traffic tickets are so upsetting as they are one of the most expensive California traffic tickets.
Keep in mind, that unlike a red light ticket without a camera, when it comes to these tickets there are no actual witnesses to the violation. A police officer is not present to confirm that a violation did occur or identify the driver. The only evidence is the photos taken by the camera. So there are a lot more ways to get this ticket dismissed than a red ticket violation handed to you by a police officer.
So here are some aspects to think about if you are considering fighting the violation:
5. Does this ticket come with two photos? Every red light ticket is required to have the two photos discussed above. If one photo is missing or the photos are blurry and unable to clearly identify the driver or the vehicle then you can get this ticket dismissed.
6. Did you run the red light for safety reasons? If you were running the red light to avoid greater harm to yourself or another person around you, then the ticket could be dismissed as you may have acted out of necessity and did the right thing.
There are scammers who try to make money off of red light camera tickets. So here are other things to watch out for:
Telephone or Email Scam: Scammers try to intimidate people into paying for fake outstanding tickets over email or telephone. Know that police officers or traffic courts will NOT call or email you about a red light camera ticket.
Missing Information: Do a thorough review of the ticket you receive in the mail. Many scam red light camera tickets will have missing details such as court date, court address/hours and a “Notice to Appear” section.
If unsure about a red light camera ticket, go to the official county court website of where the violation is claimed to have occurred and check their system for a record of the violation. Additional information, feel free to contact us at GetDismissed. We can help establish if a ticket is legitimate and what to do next if it is. We specialize in helping California drivers dismiss their unfair red light camera tickets.
A majority of us are very inexperienced when it comes to fighting red light camera tickets. So, it’s best not to try and fight it by yourself but to get some fundamental and readily available support. getdismissed.com is a California traffic ticket dismissal service that has helped tens of thousands of California drivers dismiss their traffic violations through the Trial by Written Declaration process. A trial by written declaration is fighting your traffic ticket in writing instead of going to court. Get started today!
GetDismissed produces results in fighting all kinds of tickets. Unfortunately, this list does not include exhibition of speed citations. Your best bet in fighting one of these infractions, is to contact an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to try and reduce fines, or even to reduce the charges to a lesser infraction which could possibly qualify for traffic school.
We do however, contest infractions revolving around speeding, red lights, red light cameras, cell phones, signs (primarily stop signs), carpool violations, U-turns, out of lane violations, and commercial violations. If you receive a citation and have questions, contact us today.