Did you know there are eight camera-enforced red lights set up in Bakersfield? You could be traveling along at 55 mph on Truxton Avenue, but when you come up to Coffee Road, you’d better slow down, because at that intersection, you could get a camera-enforced red light ticket if you go through when the light is red.
According to Caltrans, and the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD), commonly referred to as the Traffic Signal Operations Manual, the transition from yellow to red or the “yellow change interval” on a road where the speed limit is 55 mph is 5.5 seconds from yellow to red. If you are in the intersection when the light turns red, the camera will flash, and you will be photographed.
There will also be a video that surrounds your actions so that the law enforcement officer (LEO) who mustverify it before sending it to you could possibly see if you were turning left and got caught in the intersection.
Many are confused by the term 85th percentile and how it applies to the yellow to red interval. It does not; it applies to how Caltrans and local authorities establish the speed limit. It can be defined as “…the speed at or below which 85 percent of all vehicles are observed to travel under free-flowing conditions past a monitored point.”
Therefore, whoever is setting the speed limit at a specific point will check the speed of 85 percent of the vehicle that passes that point without slowing down. Typically, they set the speed limit at 5-7 mph below that speed, depending on other variables such as:
- The width of the road and the number of lanes.
- Visibility or obstructions.
- Schools and other buildings in the area.
The reason for the 85 percentile is because locals would likely feel more comfortable driving faster along that road than someone who doesn’t drive it frequently.
Many Wonder Do I Really Have to Pay the Fine for a Red Light Ticket
There are proven methods to get a red light ticket dismissed. The easiest is if you were not the one driving. Many worry that they will have to prove they were not driving or tell who was. The burden of proof is on the state.
As in every case, you are “innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Just because it is only a traffic violation does not change your constitutional rights. CA will not pay for your attorney whether you can afford one or not, but you should always consult one before you decide to pay the fine.
It is never a good idea to ignore a traffic ticket. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear, warns, “A person willfully violating his or her written promise to appear… in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail is guilty of a misdemeanor…” A red light ticket could cost $490 plus administrative fees; ignoring it could cost much more, plus time in county jail. Even if the red light ticket is later dismissed, you could still face a misdemeanor for failure to appear. Never ignore a traffic ticket; always consult a traffic ticket attorney.
Consult a Bakersfield Traffic Attorney to Challenge Your Red Light Ticket in Traffic Court
When you get a red light ticket in Bakersfield or anywhere around Central Valley, call Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300.
We are Bakersfield traffic attorneys who accept a flat fee to resolve your traffic tickets. Whatever we quote as the fee in your initial consultation, that price will not change regardless of how many appearances we need to make on your behalf to resolve your ticket.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD)CVC Section 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear