Can Traffic Cameras Be Used Against You? What You Need to Know
Running red lights is one of the top causes of accidents, accounting for thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year in the U.S. Because this is such a serious problem, cities across the country have started to add more and more traffic cameras to promote safety and reduce accidents at intersections.
If you’ve been involved in a collision at an intersection, you might be wondering whether traffic camera footage can be used against you in a personal injury case, or if this footage may be useful to your claim. While violators caught on camera will often receive a ticket for the infraction, it is possible that more severe consequences could come if you’re involved in a crash.
What Is the Purpose of Traffic Cameras?
Red light cameras and speed cameras are intended to help law enforcement monitor traffic and deter violations by recording video footage of activity around red lights and speed-restricted areas, respectively.
Q: How do traffic cameras work?
A: Most of the time, red-light cameras are only triggered when violators run red lights at monitored intersections. Speed cameras are only activated when drivers cruise past them while exceeding the legal speed limit. However, mistakes sometimes happen.
Q: Are Traffic Cameras Legal?
A: Not everywhere in the United States, but law enforcement agencies are permitted to operate both speed cameras and red light cameras in most locations throughout Alabama.
How Are Traffic Cameras Used Against You?
If you’ve received a traffic camera violation ticket, you’re probably expecting some kind of a fine, but how else could traffic cameras be used against you?
Q: Do you have to pay for traffic camera tickets?
A: Generally speaking, yes. Traffic camera tickets are enforceable throughout Alabama, so unless you win a successful challenge to your ticket, you will have to pay the given fee.
Q: How much could my ticket cost?
A: This depends on your particular jurisdiction and the nature of your violation, but could be as much as $110 after administrative fees.
Traffic Camera Video in a Car Crash Case
So, what happens if you’re in an accident involving a traffic violation that was recorded by a red light camera or speed camera? Again, the answer depends on your jurisdiction and the specific types of traffic light cams they use.
Some cameras just capture still images of license plates or seconds-long video of the events surrounding a traffic violation. Others give law enforcement agencies access to 24/7 footage and recordings of all activity.
Both types of recordings could be useful in your car crash case but may be challenging to obtain. An experienced Montgomery auto accident lawyer can help.
Disputing a Traffic Camera Ticket
If you believe you have received a traffic camera ticket in error, you may feel unsure of what to do. It’s common to feel pressured to pay your fine to avoid trouble, but you do have the option to dispute your ticket.
With the help of a dedicated attorney, you may be able to fight back by demonstrating that:
- You were not driving the vehicle in question when the traffic violation occurred.
- The flagged behavior was not a traffic violation, only mistakenly labeled as such by automated systems or human reviewers.
- The traffic cameras were not adequately marked or otherwise used properly.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were involved in an accident at an intersection that may have been recorded by a traffic camera, contact the Alabama car accident lawyers at Stokes Stemle, LLC today. We provide free consultations to discuss your accident, and we’ll collect no fees unless we win compensation for you.
Call us now or contact us online to learn more.