Author Topic: Red Light Camera Ticket  (Read 26074 times)

Crash87

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Red Light Camera Ticket
« on: September 04, 2013, 07:04:50 AM »
I got a letter/ticket in the mail yesterday. The letter referred me to a website that has a video of my car (can't see the driver) making a rolling stop/right turn at a red light with no traffic. The letter says paying the ticket is an admission of guilt and that, if it wasn't me driving I need to provide the name/address of the driver.

I looked around on the internet and it seems that I may not have to pay since there is no proof I'm driving. I'm thinking I should send them a letter pleading not guilty and taking the 5th amendment so I don't have to give them someone else's name.

Anyone ever got one of these before and/or have any advice?
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GuitarStv

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 07:07:31 AM »
Were you driving?

mpbaker22

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 07:17:32 AM »
I got a letter/ticket in the mail yesterday. The letter referred me to a website that has a video of my car (can't see the driver) making a rolling stop/right turn at a red light with no traffic. The letter says paying the ticket is an admission of guilt and that, if it wasn't me driving I need to provide the name/address of the driver.

I looked around on the internet and it seems that I may not have to pay since there is no proof I'm driving. I'm thinking I should send them a letter pleading not guilty and taking the 5th amendment so I don't have to give them someone else's name.

Anyone ever got one of these before and/or have any advice?

This is in no way legal advice.  I would ignore the fact that it even happened.  There is a case awaiting trial with the Missouri Supreme Court to determine whether these are even allowed in the state of Missouri.  Furthermore, the city of St. Louis has no authority to adversely affect your credit score or cause any other form of financial distress if you don't pay.  The only authority they have is to issue arrest warrants, which they have publicly stated they will not do.

On the ethics/morality aspect - You may have been the victim of an unethical setup.  The company behind the cameras also controls the light infrastructure.  It has been shown that they change the length of the yellow lights in order to catch more red-light violations.

Spork

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 07:36:12 AM »
I got a letter/ticket in the mail yesterday. The letter referred me to a website that has a video of my car (can't see the driver) making a rolling stop/right turn at a red light with no traffic. The letter says paying the ticket is an admission of guilt and that, if it wasn't me driving I need to provide the name/address of the driver.

I looked around on the internet and it seems that I may not have to pay since there is no proof I'm driving. I'm thinking I should send them a letter pleading not guilty and taking the 5th amendment so I don't have to give them someone else's name.

Anyone ever got one of these before and/or have any advice?

This is in no way legal advice.  I would ignore the fact that it even happened.  There is a case awaiting trial with the Missouri Supreme Court to determine whether these are even allowed in the state of Missouri.  Furthermore, the city of St. Louis has no authority to adversely affect your credit score or cause any other form of financial distress if you don't pay.  The only authority they have is to issue arrest warrants, which they have publicly stated they will not do.

On the ethics/morality aspect - You may have been the victim of an unethical setup.  The company behind the cameras also controls the light infrastructure.  It has been shown that they change the length of the yellow lights in order to catch more red-light violations.

I'll add to that (the bold part).  There is an argument that this is "for safety".  Bollocks.  Do you know what one thing makes red lights more safe?  ...making the yellow light longer.  If they're shortening the yellow to issue more tickets, they're making it less safe.
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Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 07:44:26 AM »
Good ol' red light scamera's. Our town police cheif was bought off by the company that installed the red light cameras. Both the company and the town was making big bucks off the people, until enough of us raised a stink and got city council to terminate the countract, much to the police, mayor and courts dismay. It was a cash cow.

If it was me, I would simply ignore that ticket. It's a contract that they're trying to trick you into signing. It violates your due process and right to face your accuser.

spedleysam

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 07:57:03 AM »
This happened to me last year.  Driving my car in San Diego, no one was around and I did not stop all the way when turning right on red.  Funny thing is...if you went on the web site and watch the video...you can totally tell it was me.....but I have very short hair and was wearing sun glasses. So because they did not think it was a girl driving the car they did not send the ticket to me or even my Dad (who owned the car at the time)!  They sent a ticket to my brother! Who has not ever been to San Diego.  He sent back a letter saying that it was not him and he was in a different state and has never been to San Diego and it is not his job to find out who was driving the car.  I don't remember where that letter got us, but my mom just found a place that for $89 hires a lawyer to fight the red light cams and they pretty much always win.  This was to make sure my brother was protected.  If they had sent it to me I would have just ignored it.  It is all just a fishing expedition.

I think in LA they were ruled unconstitutional or something b/c you could not face your accuser.  So I know in LA you can ignore them, they are phasing them out.  People that don't know that though still pay when they get the letter.

katheh

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 07:57:39 AM »
We have lots and lots of red light cameras around (suburban IL). Here, if you follow the appeal procedure they generally dismiss the ticket (unless you are habitual). Our appeal procedure does not include any possibility of lying, however. My husband has gotten these before, typically in the rain. He doesn't run red lights but he has been caught on the insta-snap in the very last second after the yellow turns red, boom. We have always appealed, it was raining, not safe to stop, car behind following too close to safely stop, etc.

Many towns around us have removed the cameras - no idea why, they must be a total cash cow but whatever.

I would attempt to appeal the ticket without lying. But like I said, here there is no "guilty or not guilty" you either pay the ticket or appeal it.

jfer_rose

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 08:15:34 AM »
If you were indeed driving, I would pay the ticket.

I don't know how many jurisdictions are "scamming" people with photo-enforcement, for example by shortening the yellow light, but I bet it is fewer than people think. The MMM philosophy is to walk and bike for transportation as much as possible. Therefore, having a place where it is safe to walk and bike is key. Giving people tickets for when they break the law helps create a safe place for walking and biking. I know I feel much safer walking when people are in the habit of coming to a complete stop before turning on red.

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 08:56:08 AM »
Accidents from right turn on red are extrememly rare. According to this article, citing (an admittedly 12 year old report) the accident rate from light violations is less than 5000 a year http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2693.asp with fewer than 11 deaths. you are quite literally more likely to die being hit by lightening http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2693.asp.

In this analysis of pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Conneticut over a 13 year period, only 4 people died being hit by right turning vehicles.  The bicyclist was intoxicated, and another pedestrian was not obeying traffic signals at the time.http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0336.htm

Since most cameras are placed to best catch right turn on red rolling violations (which are not that dangerous) and since other studies show that cameras can increase the frequency of other accidents, and since the majority of constituents are often against cameras, I think it is safe to say they are most often installed for money making potential, rather than safety concerns or the demand of the populace.
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oldtoyota

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 08:58:09 AM »
I got a letter/ticket in the mail yesterday. The letter referred me to a website that has a video of my car (can't see the driver) making a rolling stop/right turn at a red light with no traffic. The letter says paying the ticket is an admission of guilt and that, if it wasn't me driving I need to provide the name/address of the driver.

I looked around on the internet and it seems that I may not have to pay since there is no proof I'm driving. I'm thinking I should send them a letter pleading not guilty and taking the 5th amendment so I don't have to give them someone else's name.

Anyone ever got one of these before and/or have any advice?

This is in no way legal advice.  I would ignore the fact that it even happened.  There is a case awaiting trial with the Missouri Supreme Court to determine whether these are even allowed in the state of Missouri.  Furthermore, the city of St. Louis has no authority to adversely affect your credit score or cause any other form of financial distress if you don't pay.  The only authority they have is to issue arrest warrants, which they have publicly stated they will not do.

On the ethics/morality aspect - You may have been the victim of an unethical setup.  The company behind the cameras also controls the light infrastructure.  It has been shown that they change the length of the yellow lights in order to catch more red-light violations.

The State of Maryland is the biggest user of these money-making schemes. They claim it makes the streets safer. It probably does, but the lights strategically placed at the bottom of steep hills and changing the speed from 50 to 35 in a short stretch (and then placing a camera there) certainly makes one wonder.

I can't give legal advice. IIRC, there have been class action lawsuits around these cameras because they have not been reviewed by a police officer or because the light timing was way off and "catching" innocent people.



oldtoyota

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 09:06:28 AM »
If you were indeed driving, I would pay the ticket.

I don't know how many jurisdictions are "scamming" people with photo-enforcement, for example by shortening the yellow light, but I bet it is fewer than people think. The MMM philosophy is to walk and bike for transportation as much as possible. Therefore, having a place where it is safe to walk and bike is key. Giving people tickets for when they break the law helps create a safe place for walking and biking. I know I feel much safer walking when people are in the habit of coming to a complete stop before turning on red.

In one town in Maryland, a bicycle was clocked going 57 mph. So, the cameras can definitely be wrong. =-)


Spork

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 09:13:27 AM »
Accidents from right turn on red are extrememly rare.

This depends on the traffic engineering.   Around here,  crackheads city engineers revamped all the roads to contain a center median.  The effect is that to get anywhere on the left, you have to pass it and do a U turn.  Right-turners at the lights just don't quite have it in their heads that they have to yield to both oncoming traffic and U-turn traffic.

I see right-turn-on-red vs U-turn accidents on almost a daily basis. 
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JohnGalt

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2013, 09:26:45 AM »
I received one of these last year.  It was for a light here in Texas but came from a company (yes company, not a court or any public entity) in Arizona and looked more like a bill than a ticket.  You couldn't see anything inside the car on the video so no way to tell who was driving (though I'm the sole owner and person on the insurance).  I'm sure that the car has gone through that same intersection many times since and would be surprised if there weren't more rolling stops but no other tickets ever came. 

Ethically... I'd imagine it's nearly impossible to drive (or maybe even leave your home) without breaking at least one law.  Using cameras and automated systems to ticket everyone for all of these minor incidences is asinine.  There are so many judgement calls made by drivers as to whether or not something is safe that it should take a judgement call by an on the scene police officer to give out tickets for unsafe driving that does not result in any damages. 

mpbaker22

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2013, 09:33:25 AM »
This is a huge controversy in Missouri too.  I used to live in Illinois and had never/or rarely seen yield signs for right turns.  In Missouri, almost all right turns are yields, except the ones with red light cameras, and that is how they get a lot of offenders.

To see the extent of the problem, check out this article.  There are 6,781 UNPAID red light tickets in St. John, MO.  The population of St. John, MO is 6,517.  They have 264 MORE unpaid red light tickets than residents.

Additionally, don't expect to even be given the opportunity to fight this in court.  I received a notification of ticket in February, and I sent it back requesting a court date.  I received a letter postmarked April, notifying me of my court date in March.  I don't have the exact dates on hand, but I've saved everything at home.


If you were indeed driving, I would pay the ticket.

Why?  These cameras have been shown to NOT reduce accidents.  Not to mention, they target the least concerning of accidents - right turns on red at 5 mph are not exactly a high-danger event.

mpbaker22

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2013, 09:37:04 AM »
Accidents from right turn on red are extrememly rare.

This depends on the traffic engineering.   Around here,  crackheads city engineers revamped all the roads to contain a center median.  The effect is that to get anywhere on the left, you have to pass it and do a U turn.  Right-turners at the lights just don't quite have it in their heads that they have to yield to both oncoming traffic and U-turn traffic.

I see right-turn-on-red vs U-turn accidents on almost a daily basis.

If done correctly, the round-a-bout is the safest of all traffic intersections.  They are designed to have fewer conflict points.  The design actually does increase the number of accidents while turning right, into the roundabout.  However, it decreases head on collisions, which are far more dangerous.  All collisions in roundabout traffic flow are the result of two cars moving in nearly the same vector direction ... IE accidents are typically glances that are a problem for the car, but not a safety problem for passengers.

oldtoyota

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 09:48:52 AM »
This conversation led me to search Google, and I found this website related to Maryland speed cameras. Many examples here of speed cameras gone wrong:

http://www.mddriversalliance.org/

GuitarStv

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2013, 09:56:43 AM »
If you were indeed driving, I would pay the ticket.

Why?  These cameras have been shown to NOT reduce accidents.  Not to mention, they target the least concerning of accidents - right turns on red at 5 mph are not exactly a high-danger event.

For the same reason that you should pay a ticket if you get one while biking if you roll through a stop sign.  It may be stupid, but you broke the law, you should take responsibility for your actions.

mpbaker22

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2013, 10:02:22 AM »
If you were indeed driving, I would pay the ticket.

Why?  These cameras have been shown to NOT reduce accidents.  Not to mention, they target the least concerning of accidents - right turns on red at 5 mph are not exactly a high-danger event.

For the same reason that you should pay a ticket if you get one while biking if you roll through a stop sign.  It may be stupid, but you broke the law, you should take responsibility for your actions.

So we should follow laws and immediately pay for their consequences, even if they cause us harm?

Left

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2013, 10:02:59 AM »
If you were indeed driving, I would pay the ticket.
Why?  These cameras have been shown to NOT reduce accidents.  Not to mention, they target the least concerning of accidents - right turns on red at 5 mph are not exactly a high-danger event.
because you broke the law? Might not like it, but it is illegal to roll through a stop sign/red light. Not saying the cameras aren't there to make money, but it doesn't justify breaking the law either. It's the same as stealing from the bank because you don't agree with their fees...

But appeal it, if you lose, pay it.

Quote
So we should follow laws and immediately pay for their consequences, even if they cause us harm?
What laws actively harm you by following them? Laws are enforced with consequences when people break them however...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 10:06:28 AM by eyem »

Numbers Man

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2013, 10:14:39 AM »
My wife just went to traffic school for $220 instead of paying the ticket and paying the higher ticket price. We choose that avenue since the ticket happened locally and we didn't want to spend months dodging process servers and worry about being handcuffed and dragged off to jail if she was ever stopped for something else in the future. Also, she's more aware of not running red lights.

If this happened out of town, I would just throw the ticket away.

BlueMR2

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2013, 10:16:53 AM »
So we should follow laws and immediately pay for their consequences, even if they cause us harm?

Yep.  Otherwise why bother following any laws?  The bulk of them cause us harm by limiting our freedom to do things, yet we need to follow them anyways.

mpbaker22

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2013, 10:17:49 AM »

Quote
So we should follow laws and immediately pay for their consequences, even if they cause us harm?
What laws actively harm you by following them? Laws are enforced with consequences when people break them however...

Red light cameras have been shown to increase rear-end collisions, so the law in question causes harm by following it.  The reason being, people slamming on their brakes to avoid running a red light on a short yellow, are more likely to get rear ended.

http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/rear-end-crashes-go-up-after-red-light-cameras-go-in
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_jersey&id=9234959
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/05049/

Or a summation of multiple news agency's own studies:
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/increase-accidents

mpbaker22

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2013, 10:19:32 AM »
So we should follow laws and immediately pay for their consequences, even if they cause us harm?

Yep.  Otherwise why bother following any laws?  The bulk of them cause us harm by limiting our freedom to do things, yet we need to follow them anyways.

Yet this law is so questionable some courts have determined it to oppose the Missouri Constitution, and a decision by the supreme court is pending.  This is exactly why we have checks and balances.  Also, see my previous post that shows we are harmed by more than the limitation of our freedom.  There is actual physical harm coming from these cameras.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2013, 10:21:13 AM »
Red light camera tickets are nothing more than an unconstitutional process that resulted from the merger of a corporation and the state. It's not the "law" that's in question, its the process of apprehension. Due process and the right to face an accuser are not afforded in that process, and courts have agreed on that.

SnackDog

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2013, 10:22:34 AM »
If the infraction happened in your car you should pay the ticket and pursue collection from whoever was driving the car. 

The last three countries I have lived in make extensive use of speed, red light and rail crossing cameras. They work and are a much better use of resources than policeman chasing people around to write a ticket.

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Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2013, 10:24:32 AM »
So we should follow laws and immediately pay for their consequences, even if they cause us harm?

Yep.  Otherwise why bother following any laws?  The bulk of them cause us harm by limiting our freedom to do things, yet we need to follow them anyways.

That's hyperbole.

Rosa Parks broke a "law". The point is, unconstitutional practices are not lawful.

mpbaker22 is correct that in that the data shows they are completely unsafe as well. Our city council found this data to be convincing as well for public safety.

Crash87

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2013, 10:42:27 AM »
If I had done something wrong, I would pay the ticket. In the video though my car is being driven responsibly. No pedestrians or other traffic, clear visibility, etc.

I don't think not responding would be a good idea; my bill might just go up. I think I'll just this letter and see what happens:


To Whom it May Concern,


I received a letter claiming I committed a violation of a speeding law in the City of St. Louis on 08/08/2013. I am writing to plead ‘not guilty’ to this charge. Although this option is said to result in this matter going to court; it is my suggestion that the charges simply be dropped. This suggestion comes out of respect for tax payers, and my request that their hard earned money not be wasted in such proceedings. I know of no evidence of my involvement with this alleged ‘crime’. I see no way the government could prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I am also unaware of any legal requirement for me to implicate someone else in this process. My understanding is that it is the government’s responsibility to prove a person’s guilt and that it is my 5th amendment right to remain silent on the matter.

If it is the government’s decision to move forward in this matter, I would request copies of any evidence the prosecution may have of my involvement in the “offense” and, if my understanding of the law is incorrect, an explanation of both what I have misinterpreted and any pertinent legal requirement that I am unaware of.


I'll post back whenever I get a response and let you guys know how it went.
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spedleysam

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2013, 11:20:02 AM »
Red light camera tickets are nothing more than an unconstitutional process that resulted from the merger of a corporation and the state. It's not the "law" that's in question, its the process of apprehension. Due process and the right to face an accuser are not afforded in that process, and courts have agreed on that.

Yes, this.

Jamesqf

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2013, 12:06:09 PM »
Obvious first question (which no one seems to have asked yet): is it actually your car?  Obvious because I got one a year or two ago from someplace in Washington state.  Now I haven't been in Washington in maybe 15 years, the vehicle in the photo was a small station wagon while mine's a pickup, and the license plate was from another state, with a different number - though similar enough to fool an OCR system.

GuitarStv

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2013, 02:27:41 PM »
Obvious first question (which no one seems to have asked yet): is it actually your car?  Obvious because I got one a year or two ago from someplace in Washington state.  Now I haven't been in Washington in maybe 15 years, the vehicle in the photo was a small station wagon while mine's a pickup, and the license plate was from another state, with a different number - though similar enough to fool an OCR system.

If I had done something wrong, I would pay the ticket. In the video though my car is being driven responsibly. No pedestrians or other traffic, clear visibility, etc.

The OP has already admitted who the car belonged to.

DoubleDown

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2013, 02:34:10 PM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.). The blurring of giant revenue streams and private corporations in the mix just makes it even more slimy. Particularly when companies are getting a percentage of the revenue, which obviously just provides the incentive to issue as many tickets as possible.

As if this isn't bad enough, now states and counties are starting to turn over prison and jail operations to private companies. Imagine you're in a jail run by a private company, whose bottom line is dictated by how many people they can keep in prison, and as long as possible. When your parole hearing comes up, it's up to a profit-driven company to decide (or at least to influence heavily by reporting your behavior while incarcerated). What the hell are we coming to...
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GuitarStv

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2013, 02:46:49 PM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.)

I don't follow this reasoning that keeps cropping up.  If you own a gun and let a little kid play with it . . . and someone gets shot, you're responsible.  In the same way, if you own a car and someone goes through a red light in it . . . you are responsible.

Proof of your innocence (or lack there of) is given by the car in question shown on video committing the crime.  If you are not shown in the video there is legal recourse to rectify the mistake.

Your accuser in this case would be the police department.  I'm not sure what you expect to gain by facing them?

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2013, 02:48:14 PM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.). The blurring of giant revenue streams and private corporations in the mix just makes it even more slimy. Particularly when companies are getting a percentage of the revenue, which obviously just provides the incentive to issue as many tickets as possible.

As if this isn't bad enough, now states and counties are starting to turn over prison and jail operations to private companies. Imagine you're in a jail run by a private company, whose bottom line is dictated by how many people they can keep in prison, and as long as possible. When your parole hearing comes up, it's up to a profit-driven company to decide (or at least to influence heavily by reporting your behavior while incarcerated). What the hell are we coming to...


Only because that said for profit company has a monopoly afforded to by a government. Dig deeper and you find there are judges who are getting kickbacks by incarceration and even labs for every so called positive ID. Govts have just as much incentive as a private company to exploit the profit motive. Each is a monopoly so its no wonder they often to collude for reasons of protectionism.

Are we going to see the day when a government operates or contracts out expanded revenue generation via drones tracking motorists or civilians who break the "law"? Are drones really so different than red light cameras? It's all a variance of technology. It reads like an interesting dystopian novel but plays out like some creepy scientific dictatorship.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2013, 02:52:43 PM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.)
I'm not sure what you expect to gain by facing them?

Due process, a fair trial, innocent until proven guilty and the right to face your accuser.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2013, 02:58:18 PM »

I don't follow this reasoning that keeps cropping up.  If you own a gun and let a little kid play with it . . . and someone gets shot, you're responsible.  In the same way, if you own a car and someone goes through a red light in it . . . you are responsible.

I'm not sure that analogy fits.
A little kid may or may not know what a gun is and certainly doesn't have the maturity to fully understand the danger of it.
An adult licensed driver has gone through training (and probably has years of driving).  They should know what they're doing.

I can assure you Hertz and Avis don't think they're the responsible party if you get popped by a red light camera in their car.

Proof of your innocence (or lack there of) is given by the car in question shown on video committing the crime.  If you are not shown in the video there is legal recourse to rectify the mistake.

Your accuser in this case would be the police department.  I'm not sure what you expect to gain by facing them?

In Texas they get around all of this by treating it as something similar to a parking ticket.  It isn't a moving violation (even though you're clearly moving).  It doesn't count against insurance or driving record. 
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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2013, 02:59:08 PM »
I received a ticket for (allegedly) speeding in DC, caught on camera. I did some reading and found that any half-baked argument usually wins on these, because there is no one who can testify to contradict anything you say. I drafted a 4 part argument for dismissal, including an argument against the impermissible burden shifting that occurs when I am required to prove that it wasn't me driving. I had another argument where I cited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official sunset time and the definition of dusk and twilight (time stamp said 4PM, but the image looked like it was taken at night). I also made some weird argument about the photo not being authenticated, blah blah. It was fun, and sort of tongue in cheek, but I had absolutely nothing to lose.

A year later I get a postcard from the DC DMV saying they were dismissing the ticket.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2013, 03:35:54 PM »

Your accuser in this case would be the police department.  I'm not sure what you expect to gain by facing them?

As we've seen, these tickets often get issued in error, sometimes with no rhyme or reason. Or sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that are off camera. I can ask a police officer, "Did you see me driving the car?" I can't cross examine a camera to expose holes in the charges. I can't ask a camera, "Did you notice that I was pushing carefully through the red light to make way for the three fire trucks that were screaming towards the intersection attempting to get through, but could not unless I moved?"

On the radio just last week a person was issued a ticket by a camera, but they were not even in the city in question at the time (nor was their car, it was sitting in their driveway at home). If the person was sitting at home at the time of the alleged incident, and can't "prove" they were not in the city going through a red light, how do they refute the bogus charge? So far it seems many courts give the benefit of the doubt to the camera, which flies in the face of the constitutional protections afforded us of being presumed innocent. With no one to cross examine, I don't know how one can establish their innocence.
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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2013, 04:04:25 PM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.)

I don't follow this reasoning that keeps cropping up.  If you own a gun and let a little kid play with it . . . and someone gets shot, you're responsible.  In the same way, if you own a car and someone goes through a red light in it . . . you are responsible.

Proof of your innocence (or lack there of) is given by the car in question shown on video committing the crime.  If you are not shown in the video there is legal recourse to rectify the mistake.

Your accuser in this case would be the police department.  I'm not sure what you expect to gain by facing them?

In one case near me, a guy's car was stolen. The car thief got hundreds of dollars in tickets (maybe thousands). The owner of the car was sent the speeding tickets **even though he had reported his car stolen.**

So, there are problems with these systems.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2013, 04:10:41 PM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.). The blurring of giant revenue streams and private corporations in the mix just makes it even more slimy. Particularly when companies are getting a percentage of the revenue, which obviously just provides the incentive to issue as many tickets as possible.

As if this isn't bad enough, now states and counties are starting to turn over prison and jail operations to private companies. Imagine you're in a jail run by a private company, whose bottom line is dictated by how many people they can keep in prison, and as long as possible. When your parole hearing comes up, it's up to a profit-driven company to decide (or at least to influence heavily by reporting your behavior while incarcerated). What the hell are we coming to...

This post reminds me of the civil forfeiture info I shared in a thread on this forum.

If the police financially benefit from taking your house, car, etc due to a "crime" even if you are not guilty, then they are more likely to do it. In sum, this means I can come to your property, commit a crime, and then you get *your* property taken away because the crime I committed was on your property...even if you don't know me...even if you did not know about the crime.

Only North Carolina has a law against civil forfeiture.


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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2013, 07:14:47 AM »
On the other hand to all these "rolling right on red" arguments, I'd rather prefer that the asshole that is 4th in line turning left through a red get a ticket. I know my buddy is glad that there was a red light camera when he got broadsided by a guy with a suspended license that was POSITIVE he had the right of way... 2 seconds after the light changed.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2013, 07:28:43 AM »
On the other hand to all these "rolling right on red" arguments, I'd rather prefer that the asshole that is 4th in line turning left through a red get a ticket.

That depends though.  Turning left through a red could be legal as long as you are past the white line when the light is yellow (at least in Missouri).  At certain intersections, it's actually possible to be the 4th car waiting at a green light and be beyond the white line, so you are technically in the intersection. 
Though, admittedly, these intersections are few and far between.  Not to mention, the cameras are supposed to recognize this as legal.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2013, 07:34:01 AM »
On the other hand to all these "rolling right on red" arguments, I'd rather prefer that the asshole that is 4th in line turning left through a red get a ticket. I know my buddy is glad that there was a red light camera when he got broadsided by a guy with a suspended license that was POSITIVE he had the right of way... 2 seconds after the light changed.

Any major intersections with have security camera already in place monitored by your local DOT. Local police would have access to that video too. So the red light camera's for revenue generation aren't needed to review an accident in cases like that.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2013, 07:39:06 AM »
I'm definitely no libertarian, but I find these red light cameras/tickets to be a gross abuse of constitutional protections as noted by others (right to face accusers, presumed innocence unless proven otherwise, etc.). The blurring of giant revenue streams and private corporations in the mix just makes it even more slimy. Particularly when companies are getting a percentage of the revenue, which obviously just provides the incentive to issue as many tickets as possible.

As if this isn't bad enough, now states and counties are starting to turn over prison and jail operations to private companies. Imagine you're in a jail run by a private company, whose bottom line is dictated by how many people they can keep in prison, and as long as possible. When your parole hearing comes up, it's up to a profit-driven company to decide (or at least to influence heavily by reporting your behavior while incarcerated). What the hell are we coming to...

This post reminds me of the civil forfeiture info I shared in a thread on this forum.

If the police financially benefit from taking your house, car, etc due to a "crime" even if you are not guilty, then they are more likely to do it. In sum, this means I can come to your property, commit a crime, and then you get *your* property taken away because the crime I committed was on your property...even if you don't know me...even if you did not know about the crime.

Only North Carolina has a law against civil forfeiture.

I was thinking of this too. I've had enough run ins with the Po-Po that I just try to avoid being in my car. I feel like I'm wearing a target while driving. And it's all one big money making scheme. Protect and serve, indeed.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2013, 01:54:51 PM »
Based on the fact that the tickets from red light cams and photoradar system don't usually count against your record or insurance, etc... seems to be a tacit admission they're only there for revenue generation.

That said, they like to put a photoradar camera about two blocks from my house, at the bottom of a hill. I've ridden my bicycle past it fast enough to set it off...  I wonder if the car in the road got a ticket?  It's also fun to do a wheelie past it on the sportbike. I've done it 4 or 5 times, but have yet to get a ticket from it.  (I wouldn't mind having those pictures!)

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2013, 02:50:35 PM »
I once got a speed camera ticket in the mail, from a small city 300km from mine.  I was coming off the highway (a 100km/h zone) and was on the offramp, when the picture was taken.  I was clocked at 63km/h.  I could see the 50km/h sign ahead of me, in the picture.  I was slowing down at the time, but was still 100m from the 50km/h zone, when the camera caught me.

These tickets here don't count towards demerits, or insurance rates, as they are fines, as opposed to moving violations. 

Because I would have had to go to court, and make a 600km round trip drive to dispute it, I paid the $85 ticket.  But I gave the officer a piece of my mind, when I called to pay the ticket, when he tried to give me a lecture about speeding. (I'd lost the ticket, as I had 120 days to pay, and I wasn't about to pay them a day earlier than I had to, so I had to call traffic enforcement for the ticket number, so I could call the courthouse with a credit card payment).
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 02:52:43 PM by Self-employed-swami »
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oldtoyota

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2013, 02:57:58 PM »
Based on the fact that the tickets from red light cams and photoradar system don't usually count against your record or insurance, etc... seems to be a tacit admission they're only there for revenue generation.

That said, they like to put a photoradar camera about two blocks from my house, at the bottom of a hill. I've ridden my bicycle past it fast enough to set it off...  I wonder if the car in the road got a ticket?  It's also fun to do a wheelie past it on the sportbike. I've done it 4 or 5 times, but have yet to get a ticket from it.  (I wouldn't mind having those pictures!)

One camera in MD clocked a bike going 57 mph. Of course, it was not accurate. =-)

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2013, 03:05:26 PM »
On the other hand to all these "rolling right on red" arguments, I'd rather prefer that the asshole that is 4th in line turning left through a red get a ticket.

That depends though.  Turning left through a red could be legal as long as you are past the white line when the light is yellow (at least in Missouri).  At certain intersections, it's actually possible to be the 4th car waiting at a green light and be beyond the white line, so you are technically in the intersection. 
Though, admittedly, these intersections are few and far between.  Not to mention, the cameras are supposed to recognize this as legal.

Except it's not legal: you're not supposed to cross the white line to begin with unless you think you can immediately clear the intersection.

That said, when you've already sat through a complete cycle because the intersection is so congested that the stream of opposing traffic is constant, it's understandable to want to creep into the intersection in order to get through.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2013, 05:09:56 PM »
On the other hand to all these "rolling right on red" arguments, I'd rather prefer that the asshole that is 4th in line turning left through a red get a ticket.

That depends though.  Turning left through a red could be legal as long as you are past the white line when the light is yellow (at least in Missouri).  At certain intersections, it's actually possible to be the 4th car waiting at a green light and be beyond the white line, so you are technically in the intersection. 
Though, admittedly, these intersections are few and far between.  Not to mention, the cameras are supposed to recognize this as legal.

Except it's not legal: you're not supposed to cross the white line to begin with unless you think you can immediately clear the intersection.

That said, when you've already sat through a complete cycle because the intersection is so congested that the stream of opposing traffic is constant, it's understandable to want to creep into the intersection in order to get through.

Where are you that it's not legal? I checked my local state code (Washington) and the only place the white line is mentioned is the red light section - when the light is green, there's no obligation to stop there.

The local city code is pretty sparse (since the state laws cover most things), but the only mention there also supports this: When reviewing red light camera pictures, a citation can only be issued if the camera has a picture of the car behind the stop line with the light already red, as well as one of the car going through the intersection during the red.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2013, 07:14:51 PM »
If you were at fault breaking the law, Mann up and pay the fee.

Strongly don't like the law? Fight to get it changed or move to where the laws are more to your liking.

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Re: Red Light Camera Ticket
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2013, 08:11:06 PM »
On the other hand to all these "rolling right on red" arguments, I'd rather prefer that the asshole that is 4th in line turning left through a red get a ticket.

That depends though.  Turning left through a red could be legal as long as you are past the white line when the light is yellow (at least in Missouri).  At certain intersections, it's actually possible to be the 4th car waiting at a green light and be beyond the white line, so you are technically in the intersection. 
Though, admittedly, these intersections are few and far between.  Not to mention, the cameras are supposed to recognize this as legal.

Except it's not legal: you're not supposed to cross the white line to begin with unless you think you can immediately clear the intersection.

That said, when you've already sat through a complete cycle because the intersection is so congested that the stream of opposing traffic is constant, it's understandable to want to creep into the intersection in order to get through.

Where are you that it's not legal? I checked my local state code (Washington) and the only place the white line is mentioned is the red light section - when the light is green, there's no obligation to stop there.

The local city code is pretty sparse (since the state laws cover most things), but the only mention there also supports this: When reviewing red light camera pictures, a citation can only be issued if the camera has a picture of the car behind the stop line with the light already red, as well as one of the car going through the intersection during the red.

The typical language is as follows (quoted from Georgia state law, but several other states are either similar or identical):

Quote
No driver shall enter an intersection unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle he is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians, notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication to proceed.

In a left-turn-on-green situation, a lack of gaps in oncoming traffic counts as "insufficient space," and (since you're making a permissive, not protected, left turn) there is no "traffic-control signal indication to proceed."

Now, if there's only one car in the intersection doing this they can probably get away with it, but if there's a big intersection and several cars pile in and don't clear the intersection until after it turns red, the second and subsequent cars are likely to get cited (if they're caught).