What to Do about a Broken Red Light?
Although a red light ticket or a ticket for running a stop sign are two
of the most commonly issued tickets in California, law enforcement (LE)
officers and judges take these tickets very seriously because of the inherent
danger of deadly collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. A red
light ticket will cost $480 with fees, surcharges, and assessments.
Have you ever come up to a traffic light that you know is there, but it
is not working and wonder what you should do? Should you stop or just
keep going? Safety and common sense would tell you to stop because someone
might be coming from the other direction and not know there is a light
there, particularly at night, in a dark neighborhood. Accidents at a broken
red light are almost twice as likely, so you should use even more care
than normal. If you know that you should treat a broken red light as if
it were a four-way stop, then you are good to go!
CA Drivers’ Handbook on Traffic Lights
CA.gov publishes an online
Handbook, where you can read exactly what is written about every traffic signal
scenario, but for this article we will excerpt some of the less common
occurrences many may not be familiar with and discuss what to do as each
occurs and what to do when you get it wrong and get a ticket. You can
also find the answers on the
CADMV Facebook page.
Now, what about a flashing red light? Do you know what action to take?
The following is some good to know information regarding traffic signals
· CA Vehicle Code (CVC)
21453 states where and when a vehicle must stop for a circular red light and
red arrows, before the limit line as marked or prior to the pedestrian
crosswalk and you may not move forward or in the direction of the arrow
until the light is green; however, you may turn right, after a full stop,
if it is safe to do so.
21455.5 establishes the authority, inspections, and limits for an automatic traffic
enforcement system (ATES) or a red light ticket camera and stipulates
that only after the photos and video has been reviewed by an LE officer
can a ticket be delivered to the violator. These cameras may also record
violations of a broken red light.
21457 discusses both a flashing red, where you must come to a complete stop
before proceeding and a flashing yellow light, where you must slow down
and check for traffic.
21464 prohibits the use of any device to alter or interrupt a traffic signal
or to remove/deface signs or signals and prescribes a fine not to exceed
$5000 for violations that do not cause injuries.
Hire a Neighborhood Traffic Ticket Lawyer
When you get a red light ticket, call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300
for a FREE phone consultation before you decide on what action you should
take. In many cases, LE officers who witnessed you roll through a red
light were not properly positioned. They might not have seen you stop
behind the limit line and then roll forward to check traffic before proceeding.
You should go back to where you received the ticket and take a picture
from where the LE officer’s car was situated, it could be very telling.
Additionally, if you were driving along at 45-50 mph after dark, you may
not have even known there was a red light at that location until it was
too late to stop safely.
Just paying the fine and opting for traffic school could cost you over
$500. Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bigger & Harman are your neighborhood ticket defenders and regularly
represent clients in Central Valley CA in traffic courts in Hanford, Bakersfield,
or Independence courtrooms in Kings, Kern, Inyo, Fresno and other south-central
counties, as well as some SoCal counties, such as Riverside, SLO, San
Bernardino, and Los Angeles County.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.