All over the country, cameras are going up. Whether you see a red light camera. snapping a picture if you run the light, or whether you see a camera on the side of the road, taking an image of your speeding car, the cost of such violations can start to add up.
Speeding cameras, and other cameras, are popular because they automatically take pictures of the offending vehicles. Your license plate is seen, and the registration can be called up. Once that information is seen, your address is revealed and you can be sent a ticket.
While there is no way to guarantee that you will beat a citation if you challenge it — most of the time you are presumed guilty since the camera “caught” you — you do have the right to try and get out of the ticket.
Where’s the Proof?
First of all, make sure that there is adequate proof. If you are sent a ticket, but there is no image of your car, then you can challenge. Ask for an image of the car from the camera. Then, check for blurriness. In some cases, the image might not be clear. If that is the case, you have good grounds for questioning whether or not your car really is the one in the picture.
Some people recommend that you use different methods to make your license plate harder to see by cameras. You don’t want to do anything illegal, so your plate still has to be visible to the naked eye, but there are some products, like high gloss sprays, that have the claim of obscuring
the license plate when the flash goes off. However, these techniques may not work.
Has the Machine Been Calibrated?
Check the state law associated with the speed camera. Are there requirements related to the proper function of the machine? There should be a log kept of when the machine was calibrated, and who did the calibrations. Ask for a copy of the log, and check it over. If the machine hasn’t been calibrated properly, or as often as it should have been, you have an argument that the machine isn’t in working order, and that you shouldn’t receive a speeding ticket .
Check into complaints against the company that made the camera as well. You might be surprised to find that some of these companies have received letters of concern related to equipment malfunction. Consider using these concerns as part of your case.
Machines make mistakes, too, and sometimes the wrong person is in the image. What if someone just ahead of you triggered the camera, but moved to fast, and your car was the one captured? This happens sometimes with red light cameras, and it’s not far-fetched to think that it can happen with speed cameras.
Is It Worth Your Time?
In some cases, it might not be worth your time to challenge the ticket. YOu need to decide how much you think your time is worth. Is a few hours and a drive to the courthouse worth it to avoid a $100 ticket? On the other hand, if you’re looking at a $500 violation, it might be worth it to challenge the results of the speeding camera.