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Red Light Tickets

New York State generates a tremendous amount of revenue from red light tickets. These tickets are based on violations of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1111(d)1 (VTL) and VTL 1110(a). VTL 1111(d)1 specifically prohibits passing a crosswalk, marked stop line, or the closest point on the intersecting roadway that allows the driver to get a sufficient view of oncoming traffic, when a traffic light shows a red signal. VTL 1110(a) prohibits failing to obey the instructions of a traffic signal. This applies to traffic lights. Of the two statutes VTL 1111(d)1 is the more serious.

If you have been ticketed for running a red light call our knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys today. Our New York traffic court attorneys will aggresively argue to win your traffic case.

In the case that a red light was run in a in a city with a population of under one million people, The maximum penalty proscribed by the VTL for violating 1111(d)1 is a fine of $225.00, a surcharge of $85.00, 3 points on one’s license, and 15 days in jail. In the case that a red light is run in a city of more than one million persons the fine becomes aggravated to $450.00 while the other punishments remain the same.

VTL 1110(a) applies when a person is not in a city and also applies to a wider scope of conduct than VTL 1111(d)1. It also prohibits failing to obey speed signs, stop signs, yield signs, and a variety of other traffic signs and signals. The maximum penalty for violating VTL 1110(a) is a fine of up to $150.00, a surcharge of $85.00, 2 points on one’s license, and 15 days in jail. Although it is very rare, depending on how flagrantly one has violated that traffic law and in consideration of a defendant’s past traffic record, judges can and will sentence a person to jail for running a red light.

New York has also implemented red light cameras to ticket the owners of cars who run red lights automatically. There are a few features that distinguish New York’s red light camera program from one that would be criminal in nature where enhanced due process requirements would render the current scheme unconstitutional. First, tickets produced by red light cameras only fine the driver $50.00. If the ticket is not answered it within the time period that is identified on the ticket, a $25.00 fee is added to the ticket. This fine is deemed too modest to trigger the property interests of the due process clause in the criminal context. Second, red light camera tickets area adjudicated in administrative court rather than criminal court. Third, red light camera tickets also do not trigger the possibility of the imposition of jail time. In fact, the statue authorizing the cameras prohibits the imposition of “convictions” for being found guilty of a red light camera violation. Therefore, New York’s red light camera program is civil, rather than criminal in nature.

Owners of vehicles can be punished for others running red lights in their vehicles if they get a red-light ticket. Others may be outraged that they have fines imposed on them due to other people’s conduct that they have no ability to control. Although many do not realize it, the law can punish people for the conduct of others who used their property unlawfully. For example, it is perfectly lawful for the government to seize a vehicle that is being used for the interstate transportation of contraband such as drugs or illegal weapons, even though the owner of the vehicle has lent their vehicle to a criminal without any knowledge whatsoever of the criminal’s illicit activities. Unfortunately, the law is often not fair. If you own a vehicles you should be very careful to only lend your vehicle to people who they know are careful drivers so that you don’t end up liable for red light camera tickets.

If you have been ticketed for running a red light call our knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys today. Our New York red light lawyers will figh to win your traffic case. Call us today for a free consultation.

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