Growing numbers of counties have been using surveillance cameras, commonly called "red light cameras," to enforce traffic laws. These cameras are mounted at various locations to photograph traffic violations as they occur. The offender then receives a traffic ticket in the mail along with a photograph of the violation within two months. These red light cameras are used to capture:
Depending on the state, the tickets are issued to either the driver or owner of the car. In states that issue the ticket to the owner, despite who is actually driving, the camera needs only to photograph the car from behind to get a clear view of the rear license plate. In other states, the actual driver is responsible for paying the ticket, so there are multiple cameras to photograph the car, license plate and the driver's face. However, the ticket is still sent to the registered owner of the car.
When a licensed vehicle becomes fully transparent and readable to the mechanical eye, the traffic surveillance camera photographs:
The computer on the surveillance camera superimposes some extra information on the photographs, including:
Most drivers or car owners can pay the fine through the mail or can try to contest the ticket in court. Unlike traditional traffic tickets, contesting a red light ticket produced by a camera and an automated system is very difficult to do in court, especially without the assistance of an attorney. A lawyer may be needed to attack the integrity of the camera and ticketing system.
Last Modified: 05-19-2014 12:47 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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