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How to Dispute a Red Light Traffic Ticket

Updated March 23, 2017

Receiving a ticket can ruin anyone's day. When it comes to being fined for a traffic infraction, running a red light, or being accused of running a red light, is harder to defend against than a speeding ticket. Trying to beat a red light traffic ticket will pit your word against a police officer's. While no single defence is a silver bullet that will make a ticket go away, you can use many arguments to increase your chances of getting off the hook.

Assess the parts of your state's traffic code that you have been accused of violating. Check for parts of the code you are certain you did not violate, even if there are other parts you did violate. This will call into question your violation of the entire traffic code and improve your chances of beating a ticket.

Argue that the position of your car did not violate red light traffic laws. Assert that you were either in the intersection when the light turned red (which is not considered running a red light) or that only part of your car was in the intersection. Create some uncertainty in the mind of the judge that you blew through a red light without any consideration.

Photograph the site where you were ticketed. Assess the site from the police officer's point of view. Argue that the officer could not accurately assess whether or not you ran a red light from his position at the time of the ticketing. Show a judge photos of the site, pointing out any obstructions that may have impaired the officer's line of sight.

Use an out of necessity defence. Argue that dangerous road conditions necessitated you running the red light, either because it was dangerous to come to a sudden stop or because your vehicle was not able to safely come to a sudden stop.

Argue that another vehicle, such as an ambulance or a large truck, was driving in front of you and blocking a view of the light when it turned red.

Things You'll Need

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About the Author

Michael Batton Kaput began writing professionally in 2009. He is an editor at two magazines and a freelance writer. He has been published in "Egypt Today," Egypt's leading current affairs magazine, and "Business Today Egypt," Egypt's number one English-language business magazine. He attended Denison University where he earned a degree in political science and English literature.