Red light cameras are a political hot button and next to cell phone laws, one of the most contested tickets that a driver can receive.
Red light cameras have been popping up all over the country and in some cases, the cameras are causing a burden on the court system. There is a court in Louisiana that has been inundated with contested tickets from a red light camera at a major intersection in Lawrence, Louisiana, costing work force and a backlog in the court system.
These tickets are usually required to be reviewed by a patrol officer before the ticket is issued to the vehicle that ran the light. Since there is no way to determine who is driving the vehicle, the ticket is usually sent to the registered owner. The photo of the license plate determines the owner.
Because of the way the tickets are written, these tickets are normally considered a civil offense and fines are paid to the court system that has jurisdiction over the area where the offense occurred. These tickets are generally not applied to a driver’s license so it does not go on the driving history of that driver. This does help to keep insurance rates from going up due to tickets, so if you have received one of these tickets, you can still afford your cheap car insurance premium.
Some states do assess penalties against your driver’s license for running red light cameras, so you need to know your state law. Arizona, for example, allows the recipient of a red light camera ticket to be assessed a fine of $165 and 2 points on their license. Over 21 states have some sort of red light camera law; it is in your best interest to know what your state laws say about tickets received.
Unlike tickets received from law enforcement when they witness you running a red light, many red light camera tickets are considered a misdemeanor. On the other hand, should a law enforcement officer see you run a red light, you may be subject to a moving violation, which may result in a felony or other tickets. This can lead to higher insurance rates and you will most likely lose your cheap car insurance rates and gain points on your license.