Automated traffic safety enforcement began in the 1960’s with red light sensors and eventually mounted cameras to detect drivers who were speeding or who had run a red light. Red light cameras emerged as an effort to improve traffic safety, but over the course of the last 60 years, their use in certain cities and states have lost steam. As of 2019, neither Kansas nor Missouri have active speed or red light cameras based on state laws; however, multiple states still continue the use of photo enforcement, (https://www.ghsa.org). This article will briefly discuss what to do if you get a photo citation and fine in the mail.
Every state has traffic laws prohibiting running red lights or stop signs as well as multiple other safety laws. A basic overview of traffic safety laws include making a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, right turn on red after stopping unless otherwise indicated, and slowing at a yellow light. In both Kansas and Missouri, if caught by a police officer, the penalties range from $50-$75 plus court costs and a penalty to your driving record.
As a motorist visiting other states, it is important to remember that traffic laws can vary in each state, including the use of red light cameras. Commonly, receiving a photo citation in the mail can take 30-60 days and possibly longer if you were driving a rental car. Following are some simple tips of what to do if you get a photo citation?
- Verify the validity of the photo citation. Research the traffic laws in the state you were visiting as scam email and letters do exist that resemble true traffic violations.
- If traffic photos do not accompany the citation, as the driver you can request copies of the photos. In most states with red light cameras, the driver of the car is responsible for the citation/ticket not the owner of the vehicle. Photo evidence should be clear who the actual driver was; however, it becomes the vehicle owner’s responsibility to turn over the information of the driver.
- If you are the registered owner of the car and NOT the driver at the time of the ticket you can challenge the ticket.
- If you are visibly the driver of the car and the state you were driving in does have automated enforcement cameras, you can pay the associated fine and court costs, most of the time, without penalty to your driving record.
It you have received a photo citation or red light camera ticket; you should consider consulting an experience traffic ticket attorney who specializes in defending traffic cases. A skilled and experienced traffic attorney will guarantee your rights are protected. Call Reginald Keith Davis, Attorney at Law to schedule a free consultation.