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Offered by Brighton Criminal Defense Attorney Gregory R. McMahon

When you check your mail, you expect to find bills, junk mail, maybe even something personal. The letter you don’t expect or want is a letter informing you that you ran a red light and were caught on camera.

While every jurisdiction is different, the usual options are to pay the fine or go to court and fight the ticket. This use of these cameras remains a topic of debate all over the nation.

Proponents of Red Light Cameras:
Proponents cite university and government studies concluding that red light cameras have reduced accidents as drivers are more reluctant to run a red light knowing that a large fine may result. Proponents also argue that by reducing the number of people running red lights, many injuries and deaths have been prevented.

Critics of Red Light Cameras:
Some jurisdictions contract out the red light cameras to private companies. Critics say that this is not fair as some of the private companies make money based on how many tickets are issued. Some feel that at intersections where red light cameras are installed, the yellow light has been shortened in order to issue more tickets. Shortening the yellow light may cause safety hazards.

The red light camera ticket will go to the registered owner of the vehicle. Sometimes, the registered owner was not driving the vehicle when the red light was run. It could have been a spouse, child, or even a valet parking attendant who ran the red light.

This debate will undoubtedly continue across the nation.

The information in this column is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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