Red Light Ticket Beaten

Received an email from someone who beat their red light ticket. I believe that this tactic will work really well if you can delay and defer the trial for a year or more. I believe that the camera vendors only leave the video available on their servers for 6 months to a year before taking them down. So if you can extend your trial until after the video is removed, you should be good. Here’s the email (edited):

In June of 2010 I got a red light camera ticket in Hayward, CA (Alameda County) for a left turn. In my opinion the light was too short for how long the turn is. Anyways, I didn’t mind paying the ticket until I found out it was $500+ and that most of the money goes to Redflex not the City, County or State. First, I requested a one month postponement for when my ticket payment was due (online), then I requested and got evening/night court (via fax and mail). After I went to evening court I got a trial date. A month before the trial date I requested and got a postponement of my trial (via mail). The trial was May of 2011 (almost 1 full year after the alleged violation).

I was ready to go to trial and make my arguments as to why I think red light cameras are unconstitutional. However, before the trial begins they call everyone with a red light ticket into the hallway so they can review their alleged violation on video with an officer or employee. When it was my turn to watch my video the officer asked me if I had watched the video on-line and I truthfully said no. Then he asked me if I wanted to watch it now. I said no again because I did not want to self-incriminate myself (which is my 5th Amendment constitutional right) and second, the Judge at evening court said there is nothing they can do to reduce the $500+ fine because it is mandatory by law. So I figured what is the point in watching the video! When I told the officer about the Judges comment at night court he said actually there is something we can do and proceeded to tell me how they could knock down the fine in half. Tempting but I said no and that I wanted to go to trial. (even $250+ to Redflex is a scam to me!) The officer says ‘ok’ and I go sit back down in the hallway. About 5 minutes later the officer comes over to me and calls me over to him. He says that the video would not download and because he has to show me the video by law my ticket is dismissed! Awesome!!!!!!

I believe the video did download but because I refused to watch (and never downloaded online) they dismissed the case! After all the worries about paying Red Flex $500+ and the time I wasted at evening court, writing postponement letters and showing up the day of my trial, my ticket was dismissed! It was worth every second so long as Redflex did not get a penny of my money!

I hope my story can help someone else!

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2 Comments

  1. Vince
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi anonymous poster,

    Thank you SO much for this helpful tip. I too got a red light photo ticket in Hayward, except mine was for a right turn on red (which apparently is a really rare type of accident. More information can be found here: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/02/243.asp).

    Anyway, I was wondering if it makes a difference if I did in fact view the video footage of my ticket by logging in online and entering the citation # and such? Does refusing to view the footage in court have any bearing on anything? Do they keep the photo records any longer than the video records? I ask because both the photos and videos clearly identify me as the driver and show the fact that I rolled the red at the right turn.

    One last thing. The city of Hayward actually has a fixed monthly fee contract with Redflex. I believe that 100% of the ticket revenues goes to the city. It is illegal to have a per-ticket revenue stream for red light camera vendors and that would’ve been my first line of defense, but after finding the contract online, this wasn’t the case. If you’re interested, it’s the 3rd link under “COURT DISCOVERY DOCUMENTS.”

    http://www.hayward-ca.gov/departments/police/RLCE/rlce-home.shtm

    Cheers!

  2. Joy Bolex
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Hello, I also received the same ticket as the right turn on the red light in hayward! The light basically flashed before I turned and almost blinded me, then I could not tell that the light was either red or green, so i kept going?? I do you think I should beat this? Any comments? thanks


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