Traffic and Red Light Cameras in San Diego, CA
David Muñoz | May 29, 2023 | Car Accidents
There are hundreds of complex rules that regulate driving, many of which are so obscure that you will never interact with them — even if you drive for your entire life. But traffic light rules don’t fall into that category.
In fact, most drivers interact with traffic lights multiple times per day when driving. And the rules for red traffic lights are relatively simple. Except in extremely corner-case situations, you must stop when a traffic light turns red. Every driver knows that rule, and nearly everyone follows it.
To enforce those rules, California uses traffic light cameras to take photos of vehicles and drivers when they violate the California vehicle code for red lights. When driving in California, this is what you should know about red light cameras.
Red Light Cameras Are Legal Statewide
Every state has different laws regarding red light cameras that determine whether they can legally be used and what the consequences are if someone is caught by one. California laws are relatively simple: these cameras can be used statewide and result in a $100 fine and one point on your license.
Restrictions on Red Light Cameras in California
While these cameras are legal statewide, there are limits, and the fine isn’t that high in every case.
The Camera Must Take a Clear Picture of Both the Vehicle and the Driver
You can only receive a fine and points on your license if the photo clearly identifies the car and who is driving it. Thus, if the photo of you is blocked by foliage or by your glare protector being down, you can’t be fined.
You also can’t be fined if the camera is unable to capture a good picture of your license plate. However, since it is illegal to intentionally block your license plate, this only matters if something outside your control obscures it from view.
Fines are Lower When Making an Illegal Right Turn
The $100 fine assumes you ran straight through the red light. If all you did was illegally turn right on red, the fine is reduced to $35. In addition to monitoring traffic lights, these cameras are also used at some stop signs. If a camera catches you failing to stop at a stop sign, the fine is also $35.
You Can Take a Course to Remove Red Light Violation Points on Your License
While running a red light automatically places one point on your license, you can take a traffic school course to have that point removed. Remember, though, that you can only use this process to remove a point from a simple red light violation — not from a car accident or other violation that resulted from running a red light.
You Can Fight the Ticket in Court
Due process applies to traffic tickets the same way it applies to criminal offenses. This means that you can argue your case in court and either convince a judge that you weren’t guilty or request mercy from the court.
Typically, if you didn’t harm anyone and you haven’t previously run a red light, you can get the point removed or maybe even get the ticket dismissed.
Be Wary of Red Traffic Cameras in San Diego
Traffic cameras in California are mostly run by third-party companies. This means that many are more sensitive than they should be and might give false tickets.
If you know that a red light camera is at an intersection, you should be especially cautious while driving through it; it is better not to get a ticket in the first place than to fight to have it dismissed.
Contact the San Diego Car Accident Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information
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2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
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