When you get a ticket for running a red light, or maybe even a stop sign, it can be pretty infuriating — especially if absolutely nothing bad happened as a result of your driving. But law enforcement officials — as well as other driver — take red light violations very seriously for a few reasons:
- About 97% of all Americans agree that running a red light is a serious offense (even if it is just a misdemeanor traffic offense).
- Around 33% of Americans state that they personally know someone who was injured or killed in a crash that involved a traffic light violation — and this percentage doesn’t even include the number of people who were directly involved in a crash without receiving any serious injuries.
- According to the most recent data from 2012, around 133,000 crashes in that one year were caused by a driver running a red light, and 683 people were killed in these accidents.
So you see, while you might think that your own punishments for one or two red light violations are too severe, especially if no one was hurt and no property was damaged, getting out of a traffic ticket for running a red light or a stop sign can be pretty difficult.
If you’ve decided that the best option is simply to pay the tickets and accept the responsibility, then you definitely want to make sure that you pay those tickets ASAP. If you think you have a shot at getting out of your ticket, don’t pay the fines ordered by the DMV just yet — paying those fines is automatic admission of guilt.
Instead, start brainstorming how you might be able to present a reasonable defense with a solid explanation for why you ran the red light, such as inclement weather or other objects that obstructed your view.
Fighting this type of ticket won’t be easy, because the potential consequences of running a red light are so serious. But with some preparation, you might just be able to do it.