Most people have either received or know someone who has received a notice about a traffic violation. These notices usually come with instructions about how to pay the fine. But what if you’re absolutely positive you weren’t speeding or even driving at that time? In those cases, do you have to pay camera speeding tickets? We’ll discuss the ins and outs of camera speeding tickets, as well as the common questions we receive from clients.
At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, we represent clients all across Phoenix and Arizona in criminal defense cases. That includes cases involving traffic cameras and tickets. If you’ve received a traffic camera ticket, you probably have several questions. How do cities enforce them? Do they actually promote safety on roadways? Our experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorneys answer all these questions and more below. To schedule a consultation with us, please call 602-910-4040 or fill out our online intake form today.
What Are Traffic Cameras Used For?
The primary concept behind traffic enforcement cameras is that they make roadways safer by discouraging infractions. This is because drivers know that the cameras watch their actions. These safety cameras exist all throughout the country to capture red light running and speeding infractions. Although there is some disagreement as to whether photo enforcement cameras truly increase safety, it seems obvious that traffic cameras will be around for a long time.
What Do Those Cameras Look Like?
If you don’t know what to look for, traffic cameras might be difficult to distinguish from other types of cameras, such as red light and speed cameras. These cameras generally have a dome or cylinder shape. Installers usually mount them on traffic signals or other light poles. A waterproof covering usually protects them from the elements, such as wind and rain.
How Do They Work?
Although camera systems differ depending on the manufacturer and how a city decides to employ them, most red light camera locations only activate the camera when a vehicle approaches an intersection after the light has gone red. A red light camera penalty goes to the vehicle’s registered owner after the camera takes a photo of the license plate.
Are Traffic and Speed Cameras Legal?
The answer to this, like most legal issues, is “it depends.” Even in places where speed cameras are allowed, the cameras can be challenged for a variety of reasons, including claiming that the monitoring system is unlawful or that the speed camera locations lack sufficient warning signs.
Speeding cameras will, however, have enforcement in states that allow them. As many drivers who got traffic citations in Phoenix recently discovered, the maximum speed permitted in photo enforcement zones can alter without warning, presenting drivers with unexpected costs.
To detect speeding, the city of Phoenix employs both permanent red light cameras and photo radar vans, which are mostly stationed in school zones. The vans also record the driver, car, and license plate via live video.
How Can Traffic Cameras Be Used Against You?
If you obtain a traffic camera ticket, you will be subject to a fine as well as late costs if you do not pay it on time. A traffic camera can also be used against you if the film is used to charge you with a violation even though you have left the state. To put it another way, you can obtain a ticket even after you’ve left an area.
How Long Do Traffic Cameras Keep Their Footage?
If you’ve received a ticket as a consequence of a traffic camera, you should contact an attorney right away to obtain a copy of the film. If you need the film to establish your claims, you should also consult with an auto accident lawyer in Phoenix. This material may be erased or re-recorded in as little as 24 to 72 hours in some places. You won’t be able to use this film as proof to claim that you didn’t commit the offense after it’s gone.
Do Speeding Cameras Go on Your Personal Record?
“It depends,” is the response once more. Some states treat these infractions as parking fines, while others treat them like any other traffic infraction. Every state handles these tickets differently around the country.
Although red light camera fines can be recorded on your driving record, this does not guarantee that they will. In reality, they frequently do not. Because most states consider photo tickets to be non-moving infractions, this is the case. Parking tickets, for example, are not recorded on your driving record because they are non-moving infractions. Camera citations also don’t go on your record.
Unfortunately, Arizona treats these citations as moving violations. That means they likely will go on your record. Depending on the severity of the infraction, these events might stay on your record for anywhere from three to ten years.
Can You Contest a Speeding Camera Ticket?
Yes. Instructions on how to appeal a red light camera infraction or a speeding penalty will come in the mail with each ticket. When the system is not set up properly, some drivers have been successful in appealing these penalties on procedural grounds, although this is not always a sure bet and can lead to a protracted appeal.
The first thing you should do is check the web system of the camera to ensure that the photo is really of your car. If the automobile displayed is yours, but you have evidence of theft or the other motorist is prepared to confess that they were driving, you can typically appeal the charge on this basis. It’s important to remember that hearsay evidence is not admissible in court.
How Much Are Speed Camera Tickets?
The jurisdiction that issued the violation determines this. Frequently, the ticket will contain both a penalty and administrative fees. Red light camera violations in Arizona can result in a fine of up to $250 and the addition of up to two points to your driver’s license. The penalties for violating a speed light camera are the same.
Do You Have to Pay Camera Speeding Tickets?
Unless you win a ticket challenge, then absolutely. In most jurisdictions, outstanding infractions go to a collection agency, which may have an impact on your credit score.
How Can Traffic Cameras Help You?
Some cameras only catch a few seconds around the infraction. Other systems provide law enforcement access to the cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some even save records. Obtaining footage from these cameras might be important in establishing your case. This applies if you’ve been in an automobile accident or had your car stolen.
An attorney can assist you in getting discovery from law enforcement and traffic camera surveillance firms. If you sustained injuries in an accident and believe the cameras captured it on film, please call Ybarra Maldonado Law Group. Do this as soon as possible so we can begin the process of collecting and examining the tape.
Call Ybarra Maldonado Law Group Today
At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, we have extensive experience handling a wide variety of both criminal defense and personal injury cases. In rare situations, these two fields intersect. Traffic cameras are a perfect example of this intersection. Because our attorneys have knowledge and skill in both fields, we stand ready to handle your case. For more information about how we can help you, or to set up a consultation, please call 602-910-4040 or fill out our online intake form today.