The usage of speed and red light cameras is becoming increasingly popular, but this does not mean they will be popping up in your area soon. In fact, there are several states that ban these cameras. However, it is essential to determine whether or not they are legal in your area, and you should also be aware of the laws that govern their usage in any other states that you drive through. After all, awareness will make it easier for you to avoid getting a traffic citation, and this is one of the main goals of all drivers.
How do Speed and Red Light Cameras Work?
These cameras are typically mounted to a light or street sign pole, and they are set to go off during certain circumstances. For example, if you are driving in an area that has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour (MPH), a speed camera might be set to go off once a vehicle exceeds 40 MPH. The speed camera will take a photograph of the vehicle’s license plate, and this will be used to issue a traffic citation. Red light cameras work the same way, but they are designed to take a photograph when someone runs a red light.
Are these Cameras Accurate?
In most cases, drivers who receive a ticket in the mail from a speed or red light camera will concede that they violated the law. However, there have been some instances that have involved improperly calibrated cameras. Therefore, if you are certain that you were not breaking the law, you should contact an attorney to help you fight the ticket.
Are they Legal in My Area?
Because each state has its own laws about both of these cameras, you will need to do some research to determine if their usage is legal in your area. It is also important to note that some states have banned speed cameras, but this does not mean that they do not allow red light cameras. According to one Orlando traffic attorney, drivers in Orlando, Florida, could encounter a red light camera anywhere in the state, but there is currently no statewide program in place for speed cameras.
Are Penalties the Same?
One of the perks of getting a ticket from a camera instead of an officer is that the penalties are usually less severe. In Florida, a driver who is pulled over for running a red light will typically receive a fine of $125 and three points on their license. If a red light camera gets you instead, you will have to pay $158, but there will not be any points issued. Most drivers agree that the additional fine is a fair trade for not having points added to their license.
What if I was not Driving?
Every state has a different rule about who is eligible to receive a ticket as the result of a red light or speed camera. In Florida, the registered owner of the vehicle is always responsible, but this is not the case in California and a few other states. Instead, those states will send the ticket to the owner, but the driver will be held ultimately responsible.
Red light and speed cameras are likely to become a larger presence over the next few years, and law enforcement officials will continue to press lawmakers into making them legal in more states. Therefore, it is important to remain aware of the law in your area to help you prevent receiving a citation in the mail.
Author Anthony Joseph enjoys writing about various legal subjects, particularly traffic laws. Any Orlando traffic attorney from Katz & Phillips will tell you that these red light traffic tickets can be very confusing. Their firm is highly experienced when it comes to protecting clients who’ve received these tickets.