Running Red Lights: Where the Ticket Comes From Matters
Have you ever approached an intersection and then as you get closer, the green light transitions to red. You think to yourself “I can make it” but just before you cross through, the light turns red and you see that familiar bright flash trigger. Congratulations, you’ll be receiving a traffic ticket for running a red light. New York City was the first governmental body in the nation to enact a red light camera program. Data collected by officials indicate that most of the people killed by running red light violations were persons other than the driver who ran the red light. Additionally, studies have shown that these red light cameras have reduced red light violations by 85% in those intersections where the cameras are placed.
Despite the positive influence these red light camera installations have been noted to have, it is undeniable that a machine cannot understand judgment calls if you ran a red light for some extenuating circumstance. How then are these tickets treated in comparison to officer-issued tickets?
Red Light Cameras versus a Police Officer
In New York, tickets issued by an in person police officer versus tickets resulting from a red light camera do differ. If an officer tickets you, fines for running a red light vary from $50 to $300 depending on the city. Not only do the fines increase if you have multiple offenses, but you will also have points added to your license. If you are penalized with 11 points in an 18-month period, the state can suspend your driver’s license. Failure to obey a traffic signal results in a whopping four points. Essentially, running only three red lights in 18 months can have a devastating consequence.
In contrast, if you receive a ticket from a camera installed on a red light, you won’t receive any points on your driver’s license because it can be overly difficult to prove who was actually driving the car. Traffic light camera tickets result in about as much penalty as a parking ticket.
Running Red Lights Can Devastate Your Driving Record
Running a red light is something most people do every once in awhile, but as mentioned above, the seemingly innocent mistake can really pack a punch when it comes to penalties. Not only could you lose your license, but insurance companies review a driver’s points when determining premiums. Even though the points no longer count against you after 18 months, they do stay on your driving record for insurance companies to see.
Before points can be added to your driving record, you must be convicted of the traffic violation. It may seem extreme to hire an attorney for a traffic infraction, particularly something as common as running a red light. A traffic attorney will help you keep your license and keep your insurance premiums down. Additionally, an experienced attorney can help you get your license back and help you put into place measures that will restore your driving record. Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law, has a wealth of experience involving traffic violations in not only New York, but New Jersey as well. Contact us today for a free consultation.