I hate red light cameras. These automated taxing agents are the wretched offspring of nanny state fascism and government greed. Google has placed my site near the top for red light camera searches. Many of you come here looking for help. I share your disgust for red lights cameras. However, I do not take red light tickets. I want to help, but the numbers don’t make sense (for you or me).
This is not an accident. The government designed the system to induce massive give up among defendants. If the government was going to steal a million dollars from one person, you can bet that person would fight the case. It’s much easier for the government to steal $1 from a million drivers.
Most red light ticket are between $50-$150. To fight a red light ticket case you have to waste at least one whole day at court in front of a unaccountable administrative judge whose primary duty is to raise money for the city. This judge is going to find you guilty even if you hire OJ’s defense team. After your hearing (no jury trials allowed) you may have some limited right of appeal, but that takes more time and another court appearance. Can you afford to miss a day of work to save $100? How about two days?
I can’t try a case for $100. I certainly can’t appeal a case for that much. There are attorneys who offer discount ticket defense, but that requires a volume practice. I am allergic to massive amounts of cases.
The simple equation for most drivers is
Cost of Paying Ticket < Cost (Time and Money) Fighting Ticket= Pay Ticket
Throw in the fact that most red light tickets are not reported to DPS and do not result in any "points" or a DL suspension and you have a system designed for large scale petty theft. The penalties involved are not high enough for defendants to hire a lawyer or spend the time and energy required to assert their rights. Taking time away from work and obligations to fight the government in a ticket case is not an option.
If red light cameras are allowed to exist in Texas then defendants should have the protections afforded other defendants in ticket cases (jury trial etc). If this is really about “public safety” and not taxation, than a little due process won’t hurt.
My advise to the public; find a traffic ticket lawyer to fight your case and vote against the morons who allowed these cameras to invade our communities.