Four Points About Traffic Camera Tickets That Every Driver Should Know

Hit and run offense

You know what’s the worst? Traffic tickets. Specifically, traffic tickets for speeding. And even more specifically, speeding traffic tickets that are mailed out to you weeks after some random traffic camera saw you pass through a random intersection just a few MPH too quickly.

If you’re dealing with a traffic camera ticket for speeding — and if you’re wondering whether it’s better to beat a speeding ticket caught by a camera or just to accept it — here are few things you should know about traffic cameras and consequent traffic violations:

  • First, it’s important to remember that traffic tickets and fines are always determined by state laws, and not federal laws. This means that states have the ability to prohibit traffic cameras if they wish — some do and some don’t, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the current rules in your state.

  • Second, it’s important to know that traffic cameras can be used for two different purposes: some are used to catch red light violations, and some catch speeding violations. If your state has any restrictions on the use of traffic cameras, it most likely applies to the speeding ticket part; a handful of states permit cameras to catch red light violations but not speeding violations.

  • If you decide you want to try to beat a speeding ticket caught by a traffic camera, one defense that almost never works is when a driver argues that the camera equipment might not be reliable. If there was bad weather, or if the camera is visibly broken, then you may have a case. But otherwise, if your state allows camera speeding tickets, then this defense is tough.

  • Keep in mind that state courts are constantly changing the legality of traffic cameras, so you may have a really good chance to beat a speeding ticket if your state is already in the middle of a dispute about traffic cameras. You might need a lawyer’s help with this one, but it’s definitely been done before!