Red Light Cameras in Tennessee
There’s no doubt that traffic cameras are making a difference in accident rates. By knowing the camera is there, drivers are more likely to obey the law and make a special effort to stop in a timely manner which cuts down on accidents caused by drivers speeding through a red light.
What is Red Light Running?
This seems like a simple question, but there are variations to what constitutes running a red light. For example, in states where you can turn right on red, it is not running a red light if you come to a complete stop before turning. However, if you roll through the stop as you maneuver your turn, then you are running a red light.
Also, according to Johnson City Police Department’s website, if you are trapped in the red light zone because you are trying to make a left turn and the light turns red before you can complete the turn, then you are not running a red light.
What is Red Light Cameras?
Red-light cameras monitor an intersection twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for motorists who move into the intersection after the light has turned red. The cameras are timed with the red lights so they know when to monitor the intersection. If a driver is caught in the camera, he must pay a fine or go to court to fight the ticket. About half of the people in Johnson City courts who have decided to fight the ticket in court have won their case.
What Constitutes a Reason to Run the Red Light?
There are various reasons that a person can win if they fight a red light traffic cam ticket. One woman, according to Johnson City Press, won her plea because she was the last car in a funeral procession. While the Judge pointed out that she clearly ran the light, he felt that trying to stay in the funeral procession was a good reason to do so and dismissed the case.
How Does the Court Proceeding Work?
According to the Press, of the 112 drivers who went through with challenging the ticket since the cameras were put in place last spring, only 53 were found to be guilty. In the hearing, a TV monitor is present to show the video of the incident so that the accused, the Judge, and the entire courtroom can see what actually happened. Then the Judge will listen to any explanation and evidence presented by the driver and makes a ruling.
How Can You Avoid a Ticket?
According to the Johnson City Police Department’s website, avoiding a ticket can be tricky depending on how close you are to the light when it turns yellow. They say that when the light turns yellow, you should slow to a stop. If that is not possible due to how close you are to the light once it turns yellow, you should proceed with caution. They also say that you should not slam on your brakes to come to a quick stop as this can cause accidents.
Traffic Violation Tickets in California
In California, drivers who have received traffic tickets have many rights to help them beat their traffic tickets. For example, California allows traffic court defendants two trials which means two chances to beat that speeding ticket. This is why there are many traffic ticket attorneys in California who can often win their clients’ cases.
US Constitution Sixth Amendment
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment gives everyone the right to confront their accusers at trial. In traffic court, this almost always means the police officer who issued the ticket. If an officer does not show up at the trial, and the defendant wishes to cross-examine the officer, the defendant can request that the case be dismissed.
When a driver is pulled over in California, the police officer lists a courthouse that is convenient for him on the traffic ticket. During the traffic stop, the driver can request that the court be changed to the county seat as mandated by the California Vehicle Code (CVC) 40502 for the convenience of the driver. If the change of court venue to the county seat is successful, the chances of the officer not showing up at the trial improve. If the officer refuses to change to the county seat, or if the driver is unsure if the court listed is the county seat, the driver should write “County Seat Requested” on the ticket while signing it.
Issues regarding change of venue to the county seat can be raised at arraignment, but only if the county seat was requested during the initial traffic stop. Change to the county seat cannot be requested after the traffic stop.
Attend the California Traffic School
If a driver has not received a traffic ticket for a moving violation within the previous 18 months, he may attend a court-approved California traffic school to avoid having the violation show up on his DMV record. This can easily be done with a traffic school online, like these ones reviewed by ratedradardetector. Because the chances of success are low even with a good cause, it’s often preferable to pay the fine and take traffic school instead of hiring a traffic ticket lawyer or hoping that the officer does not show up at trial.
The right to attend traffic school disappears if the defendant pleads not guilty.
Trial By Written Declaration
This is the first of two trials guaranteed by CVC 40902(a)(1). A trial by written declaration (TBWD) must be requested at least 10 days before arraignment, or the court will automatically assign an in-person trial. Just like the name suggests, the defendant and the officer present their case in written form. If the officer does not submit anything, and the case of the defendant is strong enough, the judge can find the defendant “not guilty.”
Trial De Novo
Within 20 days of receiving notification from the court that the judge’s verdict is “guilty,” the defendant can request a Trial De Novo, which is the second of two trials guaranteed by CVC 40902(a)(1). A Trial De Novo is always done in person at traffic court. If the defendant is found guilty at the Trial De Novo, there is usually no way to fight the California traffic ticket any further.
Red Light Camera Tickets in California
California red light camera tickets can be very hard to beat. The video evidence produced by the cameras is usually more than enough to convict most drivers in traffic court. Even in cases where the wrong driver has been given a ticket, the police are often effective at eventually issuing a red light camera ticket to the correct driver.
There are many rights available to drivers trying to beat their California traffic ticket. The main idea in most of these strategies is to have the ticket dismissed if the officer does not show up or respond, which is favorable for those who have good cases as well as those who don’t.