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How to Get Out of a Speed Camera Ticket

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Speed CamerasAll 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.

(Photo: ell brown)

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53 Responses to “How to Get Out of a Speed Camera Ticket”

  1. cvargo says:

    Camera tickets aren’t allowed in the state of Utah, they tried them once and got rid of them pretty quickly

  2. Sun says:

    Even if your car plate is visible and your face is visible, you should still contest the ticket. In Los Angeles county, there was some issue with LAPD and the courts not cooperating. LAPD owned the video, but never passed them on to the courts. My ticket was dismissed because the courts lacked evidence.

  3. freeby50 says:

    Here’s a crazy idea: Obey traffic laws.

    Works for me.

    • Glenn Lasher says:

      I post under my real name, yet it is you, posting anonymously, who gripes about accountability?

      So I assume you have never made a mistake? Never glanced down at your speedometer and realized you were going too fast? Never missed the speed limit sign that was conveniently hidden in the trees? Never? Bull.

      Further, since we are talking about technology used for enforcement here, I assume that every piece of technology that has every touched your oh-so-perfect little world has always performed 100% perfectly, never malfunctioned? I bet you never even had to turn out your pockets at an airport after the magnetometer goes bleep, your world is just so amazingly perfect.

      Get real.

      • freeby50 says:

        Who was griping about accountability? I said people should obey traffic laws. So you think that obeying traffic laws is a bad idea?

        YOu seem to be arguing with me and my point was that obeying traffic laws is a good idea and helps avoid tickets. So I’m puzzled. You think we should all break the law??

        I didn’t say anything about accidents or innocent misteaks. This article says nothing about innocent accidents. I mean the first paragraph talks about “you running a light’ or “your speeding car”, but does not say anything about “accidental” or “innocent mistake”.
        The article is about “getting out of” a ticket. That doesn’t sound like fighting an injustice or explaining an innocent mistake..
        Tips on obscuring your license plate are not avoiding innocent mistakes.

        Best way to avoid tickets is to obey the traffic laws. Of course we all make occasional mistakes and I’m not pretending I’m perfect. But #1, obey the laws.

        • Glenn Lasher says:

          You say: “Who was griping about accountability? I said people should obey traffic laws.”

          Your basic argument is one of accountability. We should obey the laws or face the consequences. You are arguing that the very basis of this article is an affront to accountability, I only argue that there are mitigating circumstances. To wit:

          You say the article says nothing about mistakes.

          FTFA:
          “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.”

          With that out of the way, sure, we should obey the laws, but shit happens. Sometimes you just need to stay human rather than leaving things to cold, unthinking, uncaring machines. The machines are our servants, and I don’t want to live in a society where it is the other way around.

    • Robert says:

      No Kidding..

      LOL

    • Courtney says:

      It does, except when a city times yellow lights so short that one has no physical hope of stopping in time.

      • Scott says:

        The minimum “amber” time on a light is written into law in most (maybe all) states. If you can prove that the amber time on a light was too short (usually less than 3 seconds) then the judge should drop the case. Several years ago in Baltimore they threw out hundreds (maybe it was thousands) of cases in one shot because the amber times were too short.

    • John says:

      Obey traffic laws even when they are using tools designed to scam you out of your money? That’s nice… as long as you are not the one having to pay for the “legal” scam. In my case I was driving in a 45 mph main artery at the speed limit. A few meters from the interception I got a yellow signal and in about 2 seconds I got a red light signal. There was no way I could stop in time. Needless to say I got a ticket with double the amount because “I didn’t pay the first ticket” which I never got in the mail (double scam). I went to court and I brought this up. They “checked” and they had “proof” that they had sent the first notification (where is the proof when I never signed anything?) The scammers showed me an extremely slow motion video showing my “infraction” when in fact it was all a set up in order to steal my and other people’s money. Needless to say if you tell them the truth (that they are scammers) you go to jail for disrespecting the Court.

    • Richard says:

      Here is an idea…give me a list of every law you have ever broken and how many times you have done so. Just because there is a law does not mean that it is a just law. That is why there is vehicles in our system that allow you to contest laws. Every liberal wants the law that plainly states to allows our great citizens to own a gun for AND use them for protection when necessary. Reak a book you arrogant prick.

      • Richard says:

        I’m just reading these replies and I don’t know what you are writing about.You say “every liberal wants the law etc.” So many stone throwers! Jeez…………….Richard

    • samson770 says:

      do whatever YOU want to do, but keep your unhelpful arrogant comments to yourself. Photo tickets are only for making gobs of money for the cities and Not even related to safety or obeying the general rules of the road. but you should know that, so, f uc k u!

  4. John says:

    Careful with the “high gloss sprays” that claim to obscure cameras–those are illegal in some states as well…

  5. Martha says:

    It wasn’t worth it for me after the “court costs” and the parking fee my $75 ticket cost me $72.50 + 3 hours of my time!

  6. Alan says:

    I’d much rather get a camera speeding ticket than a cop pulling me over. Its only like $40 for me in MD. No points, $40, take my money please!

  7. Matt M says:

    If you someone else was driving your car or they have no proof you where driving it you get out of it as well. But no points, in VA, makes it not such a big deal.

  8. See if there is a local lawyer who will fight your ticket for you. In San Diego, there is a guy called Mr. Ticket who you pay $100 and he has some special methods he uses like delaying dates, moving around, etc to try and get the ticket taken away.

    I used him and he didn’t get my ticket removed, but he got $40 off, even though I still had to pay him $100. But he is 3 for 3 with my friend..

  9. daenyll says:

    mythbusters did an episode on the “obscuring techniques” and nothing they did really worked all that well

    • Christopher says:

      Just out of curiosity, if they found a way to beat the camera, or the breathalizer, or any of the rest, do you really think Discovery Channel would actually let them air it?

  10. I guess I’m old school, but if I were guilty I’d pay the fine and move on rather than putting a lot of energy into trying to weasel out of it somehow.

    • Matt M says:

      Yeah but there’s a big difference between getting caught by a cop and a camera, the camera’s are just a stupid money making ploy.

      • Scott says:

        I would venture to say that cameras do get people to slow down some…

        • Matt M says:

          Not by me, everyone slows down right before the cameras and then speeds up after them.

        • nonono says:

          Not if they don’t know what it is. My wife got nailed by one in Elmwood Place(a village in Cincinati, OH). They are not marked, are run by an out of state company and state the infration occured in Elmood Place, Maryland(the company’s home state). We are going to contest. The village fully admits it’s a revenue scam. They were on the verge of bankrupcy and installed these camera. 20,000 tickets in 2 weeks @ $105 a pop. That’s $2.1 MILLION.

          • unbelievable says:

            I am contesting my so called ticket in Elmwood place. First, I know I was not speeding. They have me listed as 9 over in a 25. Second, the ticket lists my location of violation as “12 Township Ave Elmwood Place, MD.” They listed Maryland as the state instead of Ohio. If they got this easy bit of information incorrect then I seriously doubt their machines are calibrated correctly.

  11. PK says:

    Ahh, these were deemed unconstitutional and everyone ever convicted with them in MN was refunded their money.
    Other states should follow suit.

  12. Phil says:

    Perhaps we should start insisting our police ween themselves from the speeding ticket business entirely. “Speed kills”, but very seldom by itself! Far more, drivers lost in their text message, night cap at the bar, or just not being patient enough to wait the extra 2-3 minutes at a stop light rather than run the red. This is where we should expect OUR police to manage traffic policy. For speeding, just triple the fine/penalty if a moving violation/accident involves speeding.

    • Will Brown says:

      The thing is, the enforcement of speed limits is to prevent accidents from happening. Charging more after the fact doesn’t really help if someone died. I do agree that those other things (texting, running reds, etc) should also be controlled, though.

    • freeby50 says:

      Speeding contributes to ~30% of traffic fatalities for around 10,000 deaths annually. The higher the speed the worse the accidents.

      Lets not pretend like speeding is harmless and innocent or unrelated to accidents.

      • Matt M says:

        Speed limits should be more like suggestions, I have driven through Utah and many other western states, and easily could have gone in excess of 100 MPH safely. When there are long and straight stretches of road with few other drivers, very common out west, the only thing that keeps you from going fast is cops and that should change.

        • Derek says:

          If you think going 100 MPH on a “lone” strectch of road is safe, go for it, but if I’m on that road and you hit me (nad any passengers)you live with that the rest of your life, reaction time of the body goes down very fast as speed increases. Even NASCAR has speed limits, suppose that’s because even the “pros” know speed is dangerous, and I don’t know, you may drive a roll caged car with a fire extenguisher, with a racing harness, a wear a helmet while driving, but I really doubt you do such on long stretches of long western public roads. Even if you did it wouldn’t help anyone you hit at 100MPH. Yeah, actually a lot of people follow your attitude that speed limits are just suggestions, 50 in a 35, 35-40 in a 25, 75 in a 55, all boils down to those drivers believing their time is more precious than others, or that the roads all over are just NASCAR testing beds! Have a nice day.

  13. superns says:

    Just follow the posted limit. If you are speeding then, some times you need not pay the ticket, because you are already dead.

  14. Dwight Johnson says:

    The National Motorists Society (www.nma.com) has extensive information on this topic and has been fighting red light cameras for years. They’re little more than revenue-generating sources for cash-strapped governments, and actually lead to increased accidents.

    • jeffbone says:

      Minor correction — the National Motorists Association site is at:

      http://www.motorists.org

      Tired of this speed/red light camera nonsense? Join the NMA and help fight it.

      • Derek says:

        Ever got hit by somebody running a light, I have, on a bicycle that was properly marked, there’s a reason for some stuff you might think is so darn disruptive, invading your privacy, etc. There are people who act is if anything that prevents them TOTAL pursuit of happiness or impedes them in any way is somthing they can just ignore. There are laws and rules in society that are put there to try to maintain peace, tranquility, and safety. I am for red light cameras and I bet you can ask anyone ever hit by a red light runner what their thoughts are about those darn annoying cameras are as well!!

    • Derek says:

      Really, want to ask someone hit by a red light runner their opinion on those darn annoying red light cameras, go ahead ask someone, ask me!

  15. Steve T says:

    Basically, the goal in any defense against automated tickets from things like cameras is to enforce your 6th Amendment right to confront the witnesses of your crime. As it is automated there is no actual witness, so you must treat the camera as a witness and question it’s reliability through any means necessary. Depending on local laws, this can also include calling whatever official approves the tickets. If the tickets are not required to have official human approval before being sent you can use that to your favor to argue that the state/city presumes your guilt without a single human reviewing the evidence. Similarly, the technicians and whoever reviews tickets must be able to technically explain how the camera works, as they must be able to detect errors or malfunctions in order to properly do their jobs. Of course, these actual humans may be unable to attend court, which should lead to a mistrial, the same as if a ticketing officer does not appear in court.

    Unfortunately, traffic violations in general assume guilt, and an automated ticket doesn’t even require an sentient witness. Fortunately, that means that if it is challenged the state potentially has to jump through more hoops to prove your guilt.

    Also, for those making comments about just obeying the law; these tickets can take two weeks or more to show up at your door. The speed of government and all that. Can you tell me what speed you were driving on a specific 25 foot stretch of road two weeks ago, or guarantee that your speed didn’t rise above the limit for just 30 seconds at that time? Considering that when I was pulled over my initial reaction when I saw the police lights was, “What did I do?” I can only imagine how confused I’d be if I got a ticket in the mail for something weeks before.

    • Steve says:

      There is one problem with your defense. Most of these so called camera tickets are civil not criminal and therefore you have limited constitutional protection.

  16. Jon says:

    For the purpose of “bargaineering”, perhaps we should consider the financial aspects of speeding. Speeding is always a time vs. money issue. Speeding costs more in gas, which means more fuel and more stops to refuel, plus tickets are expensive and time consuming. There was an interesting article on this here…

    http://www.projectthinkery.com/2011/07/speeding-doesnt-get-you-there-faster.html

    If the time saved is worth the extra money, then each person is free to make the decision as they see fit. I’ve had a couple of speeding tickets myself and I paid them, so I’m not preaching here, but hopefully each person on this forum has the character to own it if they break the law and are ticketed legitimately. What is more beneficial to our society, people who make decisions with integrity even if it costs them, or people who try to get away with as much as they can? If more people concentrated on their responsibilities and obligations more than on asserting their rights and privileges, we would all be better off, and our nation would be different than 98% of the world.

    I sat on a speeding ticket case for jury duty (which I sped to get to the trial ontime–own your hyprcrasy, right?). Everyone has a right to a trial, but the costs were unreal–Solicitor general doing case preparation, a judge, court reporter, 2 baliffs, 15 jurors, a police officer missing a day of work, all over a $100 fine. A better use of the time would be streamlining the system and cutting down on the waste. Perhaps this would save enough money that local governments wouldn’t feel the need to purchase speed cameras to supplement their police personnel, or to generate operating revenue.

    Just my 2 cents.

  17. twee33 says:

    I’ve paid my share of hefty camera tickets (I was definitely at fault) and I still think more cameras should be put in place to raise revenue for the city/county. I know it has made me me a more careful driver. As long as the cameras are catching those who are disobeying the law and not making erroneous accusations, I think it’s only fair. It’s certainly better than paying higher income/sales tax.

  18. Barbara says:

    There is a policeman on Rt. 29 in Va who lies about how fast you were going when he pulls you over. I asked if -when I was pulled over- if I was getting a ticket for reckless driving and he said”No” .It turns out that I was -according to him- and if I had not gone to court,I would have accrued points and a large fine.
    He is a complete disgrace to policemen everywhere,snotty and arrogant. He also lied to the judge and said there were men working that day which was untrue and increased my fine. There were no men working anywhere. It was a Sat. afternoon.
    In Dc the speed cameras do not send tickets till the fine has accrued to over 200$. I lent my car to my nephew and he got the ticket. I had no idea you could argue you were not driving.

    • Robert says:

      I’m not sure your correct about DC not sending a ticket until its over $200.00. My daughter and her friends were driving my car 2 weeks ago when they got the speeding ticket. I received the fine yesterday for $125.00. I want to contest it.

  19. AmyL says:

    I don’t know anything about the speed cameras myself, but it seems to me that buying something to purposely obscure your plates indicates that you are trying to see what you can get away with, and those products should be illegal. If you are trying to obey the speed limits and traffic lights, etc, you shouldn’t need such things. It really makes no sense to speed in town anyway. It causes the car to use more gas, more wear and tear on the braking system too. Instead, learn the timing of the traffic lights, and drive accordingly. I can drive the main artery downtown at about 25-30 miles an hour, and catch every traffic light green. I get passed regularly by impatient drivers, who end up stopping at the next light, while I pass them, still going the same speed. The only thing they are accomplishing is that they are getting to the light first! Yes, I have been stopped for speeding; the first time was due to being in too big a hurry, the 2nd time, I was being extremely cautious, and didn’t see the sign indicating that the speed limit changed from 35 to 25.

    That being said, I do agree that you should be able to see the evidence against you, and that the cameras or other devices have to be maintained, calibrated and verified on a regular basis.

    I would only try to get out of a ticket if I am truly not guilty of it, for example, if I loaned my car out and that person was speeding. Even then, it just seems like another reason NOT to loan your car out, unless they are willing to sign the car out and then back in.

  20. jason anderson says:

    If you live in an area with such cameras, there are license plate films on the market that are indetectable when viewed in person but emit such a severe sheen that the plate number can not be read on photograph.

    • jason anderson says:

      You may want to remove it before crossing borders, however.

    • Derek says:

      Hmmm, are you afraid someone might see the numbers and catch you at something, your solution is great, especially as an example to your children…hahaha, watch me I can get away with whatever I like because I’m smarter than the cops. I say “karma” is a tough task master. good day.

  21. Rob says:

    I was told that some tickets are thrown out when the court is asked to show the arresting/ticketing officer. The speeding/red light being a machine, can not show up in court as a ticketing officer is required.

    Rob

  22. Jerry Boz says:

    My daughter (who lives out of state) was driving my car and I received a camera ticket in the mail. My question is do I have to turn her in (whick I wont) or do I get the ticket. Her picture clearly shows as the driver.Thanks

  23. Derek says:

    You know it;s the darndest thing, many people flee law enforcement, run red lights, speed any chance they get (might as well throw speed limit signs from helicopters and let them fall were they may as much as some people pay attention to them), then it’s all “poor me” when they get in a wreck…people spend more time and money trying to get out of stuff they’ve done wrong than it’s worth (and then some of these will complain about all the wasted money that municipalities, states, etc. spend, as it’s so easy to keep streets save and accesable to all. I say red light cameras should be allowed, I believe it’s a deterant and if you’re so blazzen to run a light the least of your troubles would be a nice fat ticket (try medical bills, lawsuits, etc. that will haunt you the rest of your life)!


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