There are technical issues with every traffic ticket, including a camera-enforced red light violation.
Cities normally say the primary purpose for camera-enforced red light intersections is to cut down on the number of accidents and deaths caused by drivers running red lights. However, these cameras are not always accurate or functioning properly.
Did you make a legal right turn on red and get ticketed anyway? If you stopped prior to the crosswalk and rolled forward to check traffic before proceeding, you might have been erroneously ticketed.
Did it seem like the yellow light turned red too quickly? You should go back to the intersection and time the yellow to red time interval. It must comply with the statewide designated time-elapsed interval for the yellow light in the Caltrans CA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD).
Was it actually you driving? Did you know it was the State’s responsibility to prove you were driving and not yours to prove you weren’t?
Many times, the most prudent statement you can make about a traffic ticket is none. A camera-enforced red-light ticket mailed to the owner has a photograph and a video that was supposed to have been viewed by a law enforcement officer before issuing the ticket. However, oftentimes those “reviews” of the ticket are very perfunctory. If you make a statement, sometimes that is the straw that breaks the camels back and leads to a conviction.
According to CA traffic law, a ticket can only be mailed to the owner when an image is clear enough to identify the driver and show the license plate in the same image.
Unless that law enforcement officer (LEO) knows you personally, that might not be you in the picture. Suppose it’s a family member that is on your auto insurance — telling the court it was them will still cause a rise in your premium. Sometimes the picture is really not clear enough to lead to a conviction.
A wise move might be to hire a traffic attorney to represent you in court so that the judge cannot ask you directly who was driving. An attorney can answer truthfully, “It wasn’t my client,” to get a possible dismissal.
What’s more, it is not advisable to ignore a traffic ticket in most cases in California. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear, warns drivers:
“(a) A person willfully violating his or her written promise to appear or a lawfully granted continuance of his or her promise to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail is guilty of a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the charge upon which he or she was originally arrested.”
However, there maybe exceptions to the general rule in Los Angeles County. Contact us if you have specific ticket to discuss.
It is generally wise to resolve your traffic tickets promptly with the help of a traffic attorney to avoid forgetting about them and end up with a failure to appear on your record, a large fine, and other consequences.
Three top defenses of a camera-enforced red light ticket include:
- It wasn’t me driving. The State must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that it was you driving.
- The camera wasn’t functioning properly.
- The yellow light was legally too short.
The driver or car owner should consult a traffic attorney about their options before paying the fine or disputing the ticket.
Consult with Bigger & Harman
Contact Bigger & Harman at 349-9300 about representing you at trial to dispute a camera-enforced red light violation in Bakersfield, CA.
We use proven and effective defense methods developed over our seasoned careers. Our firm's experience and knowledge of disputing red light violations improves your chances of a favorable outcome.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The CA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD).