The red-light camera has become a staple of law enforcement in hundreds of cities across the country. With the cameras has come some outcry from motorists who receive tickets in the mail that they feel are unwarranted.
To avoid getting a red-light camera ticket, here are some helpful tips:
- Find out whether a red-light camera is present. You may live in one city where red-light cameras aren’t used but commute to and from a city where cameras are posted along your route. You can find out whether cameras are used in a particular city by checking online sites such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You can also keep an eye out when you’re driving; red-light cameras are usually mounted on the traffic-light support or in a box alongside the street.
- Use a red-light camera app. There are applications for smartphones and GPS systems that can alert you when you’re approaching a camera-monitored intersection. Unlike radar detectors, these apps do not actually detect a camera. Instead, they rely on users reporting the location of cameras and let you know if a red-light camera has been reported at your intersection.
- Stop fully before turning right. A high percentage of tickets from red-light cameras are for rolling right turns, where drivers do not completely stop before turning. To avoid this, stop completely behind the stop line, and then pull forward to check for oncoming traffic.
- Contest the ticket. Red-light cameras are sometimes wrong. If the photo provided does not present a clear case, you may be able to get the ticket dismissed. An attorney or a company that specializes in defending red-light tickets can give you the best chance of winning your case.
- Don’t run red lights. People can sometimes misjudge the timing of traffic lights. By driving slower when you’re approaching an intersection and being aware of how long it takes your car to stop, you can avoid unintentionally breaking the law.
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