Ms. Callahan authored the book on driving offenses in WA, relied upon by lawyers and judges alike.
Washington State Red Light Camera Ticket Laws
Washington, like many states, allows the use of traffic cameras to ticket drivers who run a red light.
These cameras take a photo of any vehicle that enters an intersection following a preset time after the light has turned red. The cameras record the time of day, date, vehicle speed and license plate number, and a ticket is then sent to the owner of the vehicle.
In Washington, receiving a red light camera ticket does not result in any points on your license. This means that your insurance rates will not be raised, as the violation will not show up on your driving record. However, you may be subject to a maximum fine of $250.
Red light camera laws are unpopular for many reasons. In Washington, a photo is only taken of the license plate—the driver’s face doesn’t necessarily show up on the image. Even if another person was driving the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for paying the ticket. To prove his or her innocence, the owner must identify the person who was driving the vehicle at the time the picture was taken.
Tickets are often sent out via first-class mail, rather than certified mail. In some cases, the citation may not reach the accused driver; however, the court automatically assumes that the ticket will reach its intended recipient. If the driver does not pay the ticket (in the event that he or she never received it), the court may assume that it was ignored on purpose, thus resulting in greater penalties.
If a hearing to contest or mitigate is not requested, or the fine NOT paid, within the deadline, you could lose your license and the fine may be referred to a collections agency—resulting in additional costs, not to mention the seriousness of being charged with driving while your license is suspended—which is a criminal offense in Washington State.
At this time we are not taking red light camera cases.
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Disclaimer: This site contains general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice, nor does it substitute for the professional judgment of Ms. Callahan concerning the facts and the laws that apply in your individual case.