OT: Red Light Camera Ticket

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In the old days, if you got a speeding ticket, a red light infraction, etc, you could go to court, chat with the DA and usually get the offense reduced to a non-moving violation.
I know that all jurisdictions are different, but I'm curious if the same holds true now that many municipalities are using Red Light Cameras and they have actual photos of the offense.
Has anybody tried that tactic recently?
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I'd recommending checking out the NMA's web site motorists.org
seems to vary by jurisdiction, but it seems that anymore pretty much any ticket is difficult to fight, more so RLC tickets. I would time the yellow interval at the intersection at which you were snapped and see if it conforms to ITE guidelines. DAGS for "Dick Armey red light camera" somewhere in the report is a summary of the guidelines for your perusal.
good luck
nate
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N8N wrote:

When you take your ticket to court, it costs them more than the fine for the impartial judge to rubber stamp the ticket and open the cash register. If EVERYBODY contested their tickets, the system would be overwhelmed. So the math works both ways.
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When I was in Maryland, going to court was always better than just paying the ticket. Usually, even if it was a slam dunk you still got some kind of break (reduced fine, half the points etc)
Florida goes the other way. I went once. The judge stands up and says "you all could have just paid the ticket and not come before me. You have to understand the fine might be a lot higher than your ticket says. If you want to pay that now, see my clerk over there in the corner". Then he calls the first case, finds the guy guilty and fines him $500. There was a line at the clerk's desk after that.
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On Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:25:02 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

When I lived in Philadelphia, traffic court was a must.
First time I want, there was maybe 150 cases, all seated in the courtroom. Bailiff comes in, for the "all rise" and announces the judge. Judge says to everyone, "how do you plead?" Everyone said, "not Guilty. One smack of the gavel and all were dismissed.
Second time I went, my name was called. I walked up to the judge and the court stenographer says to the judge, "with a name like that, I doubt he is guilty". Judge says "dismissed". I turned and left. I'll never know for sure, but I think a guy I went to school with worked in that court.
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On 11/1/2011 10:35 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

That was before they discovered how much they could make. I remember reading a few years back that tickets accounted for over $800 million of Phillys yearly income.
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A great number of nitwits will believe anything, no matter how preposterous, and post it to Usenet:
The number of traffic tickets written by the Philadelphia Police Department dipped 17 percent from 2008 to 2009 and then an additional 21 percent from 2009 to 2010.
And tickets are down 12 percent in the first five months of this year, compared with the first five months of 2010.
That means $1.6 million in lost revenue from 2009 to today, according to Traffic Court figures. http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-11/news/29876585_1_traffic-court-traffic-safety-frisk -----
- gpsman
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I beat a speeding ticket, once, on technical mistakes on the citation. Before he grudgingly dismissed the case, the judge looked at me and said, "I know yer guilty of semething." This after the usual opening spiel about all defendents being innocent till proven guilty. While I was technically guilty of speeding, this was due to the fact the zone I was cited in, the speed limit had been reduced to 25mph after being 45mph for 30 yrs and I hadn't been down that road in years.

Old news. I recall reading an article in the old Berkeley Barb ('70) about a UB grad's term paper on his two yr study of the Berkeley PD. One of the conclusions was the police are only 30% effective at solving crime, but 80% effective at generating revenue from traffic fines. I'd say things haven't changed much.
nb
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So what were the "technical mistakes on the citation" that resulted in a dismissal?
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... and they hadn't put up the new speed limit signs. -----
- gpsman
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Possible.
I found myself on a road last night with no evident speed limit signs, and my GPS didn't know what the speed limit was, either. If there was a speed limit sign, it was before the intersection that I turned from. This was neither a residential street nor a deserted country road, either - I was on my way to the UPS depot after work to pick up a package.
nate
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On Thu, 3 Nov 2011 20:58:12 -0700 (PDT), gpsman

True, but not always practical or accurate. I travel a road to work every day for years. The speed varies 5 mph between two towns. Damned if I can see any difference in the type of road or buildings. I also traveled that road for a few years before I noticed the sign with the lower limit.
If you are from out of state, the chances of knowing the particulars of the state you are in are slim. Most are similar though, you'll never see a secondary road at 70 mph.

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Most states are like this. OH is a little different in that it seems they enforce these. I remember such questions on their written exam, a few years back, too.

These are default state speed limits. Any deviation from the default have to be posted, in a standard manner. If it's posted...
Of course, jurisdictions differ.

Not knowing the law is does not buy a pass. Never say never. ;-)
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I love the true story of Arlington, Texas. In about 1965 or thereabouts, someone came up with the idea of a speeding camera. They installed it in a 45 mph zone, and it took a picture of every car with license plate that was over the 45 mph limit.
Local bubbas would cruise by at 35 mph, shotguns in hand. After replacing the camera a few times, they abandoned the project.
Steve
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Correct, none of them appear to be applicable however, unless you consider it to be the default 55 MPH given in 46.2-870 which does not seem to be appropriate, or the 25 MPH given in 46.2-874 for a "business district" - but it is not clear to a casual observer whether the area qualifies as a "business district" or not, and the road in question is four lanes, divided, etc. and even at about 6:30 PM (typically one of the times of day that experiences heaviest traffic) was lightly traveled, so 25 MPH doesn't seem appropriate either.
Most people seemed to be traveling about 40 MPHish which was an appropriate speed IMHO, but who knows what the actual speed limit on that road *is.*
This isn't unique either... there's another heavily traveled road around here where I happen to know that the speed limit is 45 MPH, but if you access it from a major highway and head west, there isn't a single speed limit sign for over a mile, at the intersection with another major highway. I'm surprised that the cops haven't set up a speed trap there, as without prior knowledge of the area, you have absolutely no idea what the speed limit is on that stretch of road. nate
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That's one of the differences between drivers and motorists; drivers are not casual observers.
One of the tasks of driving requires reading -every- traffic sign. A few years of that gives the driver a lot more data upon which to base a decision.

Couldn't be me... ... ...

False premise. Speed limits don't have much influence on the vast majority of motorists.
(If there's any traffic they tend to want to catch and/or pass the vehicle to their front, keep anyone from getting in front of them, make every light, and make a few phone calls to make best advantage of what they consider "down time". And that's about the extent of their strategy.)
At what point in NoVA (or the US) would you suggest cops would have difficulty coming across motorists exceeding the speed limit...? -----
- gpsman
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I'm not sure where you're going with this. There *are* no signs, nor is it clear if any of the speed limits established by statute apply to this road - there are speed limits applied by default to roads that fit various different classifications, but there are plenty of roads that do not appear to fit *any* of them. What would you assume the speed limit to be on any of those roads, in the absence of signs?

This is actually true, but I'd prefer to know for sure what the speed limit is rather than just "going with the flow" and assuming that I won't be "caught."

None of them.
My point is that I would like to be informed as to what the speed limit *is* so that I can make more informed decisions.
nate
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wrote:

Depends on the state's laws, and we all know that laws always make sense. In NY it's not a moving violation. Also, corporations are people. Maybe I'll claim one as a dependent...
R
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Well, I think I found the answer that I was looking for.
I came across the website for the jurisdiction in which the red light was run and these are words they use:
*** Begin Included Text ***
How Redlight Traffic Safety Cameras Work
The cameras will capture still and video images of vehicles in the act of a red-light violation, which will initiate the procedure to deliver a Notice of Liability to the registered owner of the vehicle. The violation is a civil matter and will not be reported to insurance companies or generate points on a drivers license.
*** End Included Text ***
So going to chat with the Traffic Court DA probably doesn't apply and probably isn't worth it. The Liability in question is $50 and that may not be worth the time and effort required to "fight" it in an effort to get it reduced. Odds are the court fees would cost you more if they "reduced" it like they often do with an officer involved traffic stop.
I'm going to recommend to the family member that received the letter/ photo that they just pay the $50 and not do it again.
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On Tue, 1 Nov 2011 11:36:52 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

In most places these tickets are not being issued by the state, city or county. They are issued by a private company and I am guessing you will be sued by them if you fail to pay.
I do know there are a lot of cases working their way through the courts and a lot of people are pissed about this. Many of these have been ruled invalid and a lot of places have had to change their policies. I am really surprised they don't lose more cameras, particularly in places where people have guns in their trucks. I guess that is why they only put them in well populated areas.
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