Running a red light is definitely one of the riskiest things you can do as a driver, whether it’s on purpose or by accident. In fact, about 97% of American drivers agree that running a red light or a stop sign is one of the biggest safety dangers when it comes to driving.
But the legality and effectiveness of traffic cameras that issue traffic light violations — and sometimes even traffic violations for speeding — is something that isn’t agreed upon quite so unanimously. If you’re facing a red light camera ticket right now, there’s a good chance that you can beat your ticket or prove that there isn’t enough evidence against you. Here are just a few of the most common defenses that are used — often very successfully — against red light camera tickets:
- You own the vehicle, but you weren’t driving it at the time. In many state, the driver of vehicle is responsible for the traffic light violation, rather than the driver. With a red light camera ticket, you’ll receive the ticket in the mail because your address is linked to the license plate, but you might be able to argue that you weren’t actually driving the vehicle at that time.
- Malfunctioning equipment in the camera is another possible defense, especially if there was bad weather that could have caused the camera to break down. Simply suggesting that the equipment may have malfunctioned probably won’t be enough, but if the manufacturer of the camera can’t prove that the equipment was definitely working on the day you were ticketed, then this will be a pretty good defense.
- Finally, since most red light camera ticket charges rely solely upon photographic evidence, you can request to see the photo that supposedly incriminates you. If no photo evidence is produced, or if the photo doesn’t show your license plate number clearly, then you can easily get out of the ticket.
And of course, as with any traffic violations, the first thing you should always do after being ticketed, if you really don’t know what else to do, is simply to contact your local traffic law attorney for some professional advice.