Red Light Camera Tickets in Texas
In Texas, red light cameras were initially installed in 2003. These devices
work by triggering a camera as a motor vehicle passes over a sensor in
the intersection when the traffic light is red. The camera captures a
photograph of the driver and the vehicle’s front license plate;
then the citation is mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.
Fighting Your Ticket
Red light cameras have been criticized for inaccuracies before or failing
to tell the entire story of the incident – especially if you have
a legitimate reason for doing so. If you have received a notice in the
mail that you ran a red light and were caught on camera, you can take
action by the deadline on the notice.
The following are common defenses to fight a red light camera ticket successfully:
- The device was not working properly. At a trial, the government (e.g. police officer, prosecutor, a government
employee) must present evidence on how the device works and that it was
working in proper order on the day the ticket was issued. However, if
no employee from the company that maintains the red light camera appears
to testify, you may object to the photos being considered evidence. If
the pictures are excluded, there is no evidence to convict you.
- The photos are not clear. If the images are not clear, you may challenge its clarity, arguing that
there isn’t enough evidence to convict you.
- You acted out of “necessity.” If you ran a red light in order to avoid a serious collision or
harm to others, you might make that argument, and it is possible that
the judge may find that you acted out of necessity.
- The “photo enforced” sign is missing or not visible. In some jurisdictions, it is required to have signs posted to warn drivers
of traffic lights that are equipped with cameras. However, a sign could
be covered up by growing vegetation or even missing. If that is the case,
then you may have enough grounds to walk away from paying the citation.
- You are not the driver. If someone else was driving your vehicle at the time of the citation,
the owner could fill out an affidavit, swearing that he or she was not
driving when the violation occurred.