How to dispute speed camera and traffic-light tickets

Written by louise balle
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How to dispute speed camera and traffic-light tickets
Beating a speed camera (Getty Thinkstock)

A traffic camera ticket commonly comes as a surprise. One day you open your mail and see a picture of what looks like your car passing through an intersection. Traffic cameras can also catch you speeding in some cases. But just because you see a picture of your car on the ticket doesn't necessary mean that you're automatically guilty.

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Instructions

    Red-light camera tickets

  1. 1

    Post back your ticket with "Not Guilty" checked where indicated. The traffic court will issue you a hearing date upon receipt. Make sure you keep a copy of the ticket for yourself.

  2. 2

    Go back to the scene of the traffic ticket (the location is listed on the ticket). Take video of the intersection to see if the camera is taking photos too soon. For instance, if you see the camera start flashing while the light is still yellow, that's a clear mechanical error. Bring the video with you to court.

  3. 3

    Provide your actual car registration information if the plate number pictured on the ticket does not match yours. If the photo is blurry or difficult to distinguish, dispute the ticket on the grounds that there's a reasonable doubt that the car in the picture is actually yours.

    Speeding camera tickets

  1. 1

    Keep in mind that a speeding camera ticket can sometimes be difficult to dispute because you have to prove that the camera had some a mechanical error while recording your speed if everything else checks out. Understand how a speeding camera clocks your speed—the camera takes two photos of your car between two points (usually lines in the road) and does a calculation to determine how fast you were driving.

  2. 2

    Investigate to see if there were other recent cases of drivers who received speeding tickets in error from that camera in your town. Traffic court hearings are public records—visit your local courthouse or town administration building to ask for information about other cases involving this speeding camera location. If you find some other cases that were thrown out due to a problem with the camera, bring that proof with you to court.

  3. 3

    Dispute the ticket on the grounds that you were not driving the car if someone else had possession of your vehicle at the time. The driver who was speeding is responsible for the speeding ticket, not necessarily the owner of the car.

  4. 4

    Provide proof that you weren't even in the vicinity at the time of the ticket. For instance, if you receive a traffic camera ticket from one state but you were at a conference in another state at the time, bring your conference programme, travel, parking or toll receipts to court to dispute the ticket at the hearing.

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