Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedThere are two types of traffic tickets for running a red light in CA. One is when a police officer pulls you over, known as a “bumper stop,” and the other is a camera-enforced red light ticket. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some legal questions surrounding running a red light and how to dispute it. 

Why Is It So Much More for a Camera-Enforced Red Light Ticket?

Many California drivers are unaware that a camera-enforced red light fine is more than double what a bumper stop for running a red light will cost.

The paid fine for a camera-enforced red light ticket is approximately $490, whereas a bumper stop for running a red light is only $237. That’s quite a jump, isn’t it? 

Although it’s not 100% clear why a camera-enforced ticket is so much more than a bumper stop, most assume the additional money is paid to the Arizona company that installs and maintains many of these enforcement cameras across the state.

However, the real concern for most drivers is how to dispute the ticket and avoid paying a fine and the massive insurance premium increase that comes with it. 

How Much Is the Auto Insurance Premium Increase After a Conviction

Whether you get it in the mail or a law enforcement officer (LEO) hands it to you, a ticket for running a red light can financially drain your family budget.

Many drivers don’t think of a paid fine as a conviction. However, when you pay the fine, you are pleading guilty to the traffic violation.

The average Californian will pay $2,290 for auto insurance in 2023, according to There are dozens of factors that contribute to how much you pay. The most significant factor, other than age, is your driving record.

When you are convicted of running a red light, if you are not eligible to mask the conviction from your insurance company with traffic violator’s school, your insurance company will take your “20% good driver’s discount.” For the average driver mentioned above, that amounts to $458 annually. 

Next, they will add the risk associated with a red light conviction, usually 10-12%, another $229 or $275 per year. 

Over the three years, the paid fine will remain on your driving record, costing at least $2,298 more than if you could get the ticket dismissed.   

How to Prevent a Running a Red Light Ticket

It is truly as Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To steer clear of a red light ticket:

  • Stay Alert: Watch for traffic lights and slow down when it’s yellow.
  • Control Your Speed: Approach intersections with caution
  • Patience Pays: Ensure the light is green before proceeding.
  • Make a complete stop: Always come to a complete stop and check traffic before making a right turn on red.

However, all the prevention in the world cannot stop mistakes from happening. When you get a ticket, dispute it in court with a Merced traffic attorney.

Getting a Red Light Ticket Dismissed by Disputing It in Court

You should always consult a traffic attorney because they handle dozens of these red light tickets and know how the judges in Bakersfield Courthouse typically rule on running a red light ticket

First, there is no guarantee. However, these are a few methods we have found successful:

  • The image from the traffic camera was not clear — while there’s no guarantee, a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney will ask for a dismissal based on the lack of credible evidence.  
  • The camera malfunctioned — you or your attorney can check the green-yellow-red time interval.
  • Road rage or avoidance — it is a plausible defense when someone is chasing you and you can get that into evidence.
  • It wasn’t you driving — proving who was driving is the State’s burden, not yours. It is not up to you to disprove the State’s case. An experienced LEO is supposed to view the still photo and video. If it is not you, the judge should dismiss the ticket. However, they sometimes  won’t do that without being asked by you or an attorney. 
  • Question the LEO’s view — If an officer wrote the ticket on scene, the LEO might not have been in a good place to view whether you stopped before turning right or you might have stopped and rolled forward to get a better view of traffic.

Once again, identifying the actual driver isn’t your responsibility. 

Stripping the legal jargon into plain talk ensures you will know what’s happening and how much it will cost. We’ll simplify disputing your red light ticket in court and get the best resolution possible. 

Consult with Bigger & Harman When Facing a Ticket for Running a Red Light in Bakersfield, CA

When you’ve been ticketed for running a red light that you need resolved in Bakersfield Courthouse, contact Bigger & Harman, APC, at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Alternatively, use our clear-cut contact form or email Send a copy/picture of your citation and a summary of the stop.


The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

The article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.

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