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#4427571 - 06/10/17 09:25 AM Redlight Ticket Question?
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1984
Loc: VA
Have a quick question gang, so my brother got a red light crossing ticket.

No tickets, since he has the license(for almost 10 years) and he drives like a grandpa(just like me).

As per him, light was still yellow when he crossed and there were 2 other vehicles with him in the next lane, all crossed at the same time.

But he got pulled over and was issued the ticket. Now should we contest it and go to court? If so, any advice or suggestions?

Thanks for all the help.
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#4427574 - 06/10/17 09:31 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
So the Police were right there on the spot. From what I know, in order to successfully fight the ticket he will need some sort of evidence to put a shadow of a doubt on the policeman's testimony. Dash cam, another witness etc.

He could try to argue that he did not think it was safe to stop at the yellow light so entered the intersection while yellow, and/or that there were two other vehicles behind him and perhaps the officer meant to ticket one of them. Quote his spotless record.*





*I'm not an attorney and this is not legal advice, only commenting from experience.
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#4427577 - 06/10/17 09:33 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10571
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I stupidly got stopped for this about a year ago. Had a situation at work where I was trying to get there quickly at 3:00am. Didn't want to wait at an obnoxiously long red light at a rural intersection where their wasn't a sole around. I stopped, looked all ways and proceeded. Cop was parked (hidden from my sight) nearby and stopped me. Long story short, the township allowed me to plead it down to a $100 parking ticket. No moving violation. I hadn't had a ticket in nearly 20yrs. My point is, check with the town. Speak with the clerk, etc.
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#4427587 - 06/10/17 09:45 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
BigD1 Offline


Registered: 08/12/15
Posts: 2575
Loc: NC
Probably will be cheaper to take the safe driving class at a local community college, and it will all be dropped, no points. It's going to cost money what ever happens.
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#4427592 - 06/10/17 09:50 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
Gebo Offline


Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 2091
Loc: VA
I have ALWAYS had success either talking with our Sheriff or Police Chief. JTK is 100% correct. A conversation will only cost you a little time. Elected officials are always aware of their need for votes in the next election.
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#4427598 - 06/10/17 09:52 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: JTK]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1984
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: JTK
I stupidly got stopped for this about a year ago. Had a situation at work where I was trying to get there quickly at 3:00am. Didn't want to wait at an obnoxiously long red light at a rural intersection where their wasn't a sole around. I stopped, looked all ways and proceeded. Cop was parked (hidden from my sight) nearby and stopped me. Long story short, the township allowed me to plead it down to a $100 parking ticket. No moving violation. I hadn't had a ticket in nearly 20yrs. My point is, check with the town. Speak with the clerk, etc.


Thanks very much. Can you please elaborate on this a bit?
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#4427604 - 06/10/17 09:53 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: Gebo]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1984
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: Gebo
I have ALWAYS had success either talking with our Sheriff or Police Chief. JTK is 100% correct. A conversation will only cost you a little time. Elected officials are always aware of their need for votes in the next election.


Thank you, I can see you are from VA too. What do you mean by the conversation?
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#4427623 - 06/10/17 10:10 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5987
I had a similar thing happen to me about a month ago. I went to court, spoke with the prosecutor (not sure if hat is the right title) and she agreed that the charge should be dropped. I simply told my side of the story and she was sympathetic; the conversation took less than 10 seconds. No officer , no judge, just one lady who made the decision. Granted, I had to take a few hours off from work and wait in the court house for over an hour, but i have to believe it was worth whatever savings due to a possible insurance rate hike.

This will probably work for your brother. For someone who has multiple infractions, probably not.

In my area, the revenue enforcers set up "traps" near the end of the month. One light, the one I was pulled over for running, is at the end of a hill, with a relatively large intersection. If the light turns yellow, your choices are to slam on your brakes or run the yellow, which will result in my light turning red and the opposite light turning green before I've entirely cleared the intersection. I had a car behind me and the light turned yellow while I was about a car's length before the solid white line. Easy choice for me, despite the local PD sitting nearby, protecting and serving the intersection...Of note: the subject intersection is one that comes off the highway, nearby my work. At 0500 the ONLY traffic is going in this direction. Cross traffic is non-existent, because most people aren't up that early and 3rd shift hasn't ended, either. The light has trips, but still rotates red lights on a timer.

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#4427630 - 06/10/17 10:19 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
mjk Offline


Registered: 02/15/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: Wishin' I was in Wi
The fact that this thread hasn't devolved into a holier-than-though dissertation is amazing. I am sure the OP appreciates the help.

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#4427646 - 06/10/17 10:35 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
TheKracken Offline


Registered: 04/18/17
Posts: 515
Loc: Fort Worth TX
A girlfriend of mine a while back (was getting a Phd in history) sent a long letter in along with the ticket to the court and they dropped everything. She failed to stop at a stop sign and since she did it at 12:01 at night and he mistakenly put the date of the previous day, she argued his competence as a cop.

I was at a red light in the middle of the night and a cop was parked on the street. I was in a little geo metro and the light had just turned red when I pulled up. I waited at that light for about 10 minutes waiting for it to change before the cop flashed his lights at me to just go for it. No idea why my little car didn't trigger whatever sensor there was!

Not really a point to it, but I wish you luck OP.
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#4427652 - 06/10/17 10:45 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3398
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
Intersections with traffic control lights are always iffy. Our small city has had to start a stricter enforcement of violations at traffic lights because so many drivers were ignoring yellow lights and continuing across wide intersections. This has the effect of backing up traffic and people started complaining. In sixty five years of driving, the only ticket I ever received was for entering on a yellow. I have to admit that intersections with lights always cause me concern, but what can you do when you are moving thirty five miles an hour? Our city is in the process of removing the lights in our downtown area because the cost of maintaining the fifty some year old system is too high.I don't think we will miss them in our downtown area. smile

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#4427670 - 06/10/17 11:09 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
Vern_in_IL Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 1884
Loc: IL
Yeah go to court, since he has not prior tickets he should get it dropped, and there is the possibility that the cop does not show.
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#4427671 - 06/10/17 11:09 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20455
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Have a quick question gang, so my brother got a red light crossing ticket.

No tickets, since he has the license(for almost 10 years) and he drives like a grandpa(just like me).

As per him, light was still yellow when he crossed and there were 2 other vehicles with him in the next lane, all crossed at the same time.

But he got pulled over and was issued the ticket. Now should we contest it and go to court? If so, any advice or suggestions?

Thanks for all the help.



The rule in NY is as long as your front bumper crosses the stop line while the light is yellow then your good.

Other states could be different. This is from SIL who is a cop.

So at what angle and observation point was the cop?

In NY I would go to court, see if cop is no-show or they reduce it to no points.

If he thinks it was not a valid ticket, then in court ask for a continuance and hire a traffic lawyer.

Figure in insurance increases and the lawyer is cheap
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#4427677 - 06/10/17 11:15 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5230
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
How right you are! That Columbus, Nebraska traffic can be murder. (wink-wink)

All kidding aside, I've never heard of an "entering an intersection on a yellow light" ticket. Yellow always meant "proceed with caution".

MAYBE, if you failed to see congestion and the time needed for you to clear the intersection resulted in impeding the crossing traffic...??

I stop at intersections even when I KNOW I can make it through on the yellow because our police departments are drawn from the population (a good thing) and many people in our fine land are TV raised, shallow and stupid (a bad thing). Like it or not, there are such people all around us. Assuming there are NONE in our police departments is fool hearty. No profession is immune. Also, I'm a firm believer that time-on-the-job makes for better workers.

JUST TO RESTATE (So I don't get yelled at by some red, white and blue superior mind): Don't get me wrong. I like the police. I just try to give them no reason to stop me. I check ALL my little lightbulbs too. Nobody wants to engage an 18 year old cop who wants to change the world.

The question of "proceeding with caution" aside, I'd bet real money that most of the time when people squeeze the lemon they're ACCELERATING into an intersection. That IS a recipe for trouble.

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#4427685 - 06/10/17 11:24 AM Re: Redlight Ticket Question? [Re: maverickfhs]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
Request a hearing. Ask the officer then if he checked the operation of the light before setting up his 'post". They seldom do and the lights can get out of sync. If the officer is parked where he's looking at the side street lights, or the other side of the main road lights he doesn't know if the side your brother was on was red of yellow, he's just assuming. Just asking if the officer checked for proper operation is often enough to meet the "reasonable doubt" test. Always try to bargain first using a clean driving record but don't tip anyone off about your operation question. Most states have a "clean driving record" statute which gives drivers with a clean record one bite at the apple for a dismissal. I would suggest you google VA traffic law for this information. If you ask about operation you may get a deer in headlights look from the officer which the judge will note, unless he or she is a political hack. It is, however, a relevant question.

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