According to the Sarasota Police Department, there are 20 active red light cameras around the city. Red light cameras are high-resolution, high-speed cameras installed at intersections with stoplights. These cameras are automatically triggered to take photos when a vehicle goes through an intersection while its lane of traffic has a red light. If you were sent a notice of a red-light violation in the mail, contact a Sarasota traffic lawyer from Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900.
The purpose of these cameras is to reduce traffic violations and accidents, ultimately saving lives. However, they have also become an annoyance to drivers who receive unfair infractions in the mail or who are responsible for paying fines for another driver’s mistake.
Red Light Camera Violations
There are multiple ways you can end up with a red light violation. First, if you drive straight through despite already having a red light when you enter the intersection, then you will be ticketed. Law enforcement will look to see if your vehicle crossed over the white line after the signal turned red. You will not be ticketed if you entered the intersection before the light changed to red.
Second, you can violate the law if you make an improper turn. For instance, if you do not complete a right turn on red safely or if you turn on red when there is a “No Turn On Red” sign present, you will get a ticket.
What Does the Flash Mean?
The cameras are set to take pictures, with a flash, when a vehicle triggers a sensor. It is possible for vehicles to trigger sensors causing a picture to be taken even when there is no red light violation. In this case, an unnecessary picture is taken and the police will not pursue a violation. Every flash does not mean there has been a traffic violation.
The Red Light Violation Process
If your vehicle is pictured going through an intersection on a red light, then you will receive a Notice of Violation in the mail. This will contain an image of the vehicle before, during, and after entering the intersection, including its license plate number. Your options after receiving the notice are to pay the fine, submit an affidavit of an affirmative defense, or contest the violation with the help of an attorney.
The Consequences of a Red Light Violation
A violation for a red light violation does not go on your driving record or add points to your license. It is an infraction and you will only be charged a fine. If you are the owner of the vehicle that went through the red light, you will be required to pay $158. If you fail to pay after receiving notice, you will receive a Uniform Traffic Citation and be charged $264.
However, if someone else was driving your car at the time, there is the possibility of ensuring the infraction goes to the right person. This will shift the responsibility for paying the fine onto the party who actually ran the red light. However, if it is your spouse your child, there may be no point in doing this since the violation does not affect your driving record.
Defending Against a Red Light Violation
There are a number of valid reasons why you may have gone through a red light yet should not have to pay a fine. These include getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle, police officer, or funeral possession. You can also defend yourself by proving someone else was driving or that your vehicle was stolen at the time. If you fall into one of the exemptions listed in Florida Statute Section 316.0083(1)(d)1a-d, then you can submit a signed affidavit to this effect. If the reason for your affidavit is that someone else as driving, then the driver listed on the affidavit will be fined.
Watch Out for Red Light Cameras in Sarasota
If you live, work, or regularly travel through Sarasota, it is a good idea to know where the red light cameras are:
- SB S Tuttle Ave @ Bahia Vista St.
- NB S Tuttle Ave. @ Bahia Vista St.
- EB Bahia Vista St @ S Tuttle Ave.
- SB N. Washington Blvd @ 17th St.
- NB N Washington Blvd @ Fruitville Rd.
- SB N. Tuttle Ave. @ Fruitville Rd.
- EB Fruitville Rd @ N Washington Blvd.
- SB N. Beneva Rd. @ Fruitville Rd.
- SB N. Lockwood Ridge Rd. @ Fruitville Blvd.
- WB Fruitville Rd. @ N. Lockwood Ridge Rd.
- EB Fruitville Rd. @ N. Lockwood Ridge Rd.
- WB Fruitville Rd @ N Tuttle Ave.
- NB N Tamiami Trail / US 41 @ University Pkwy.
- SB N Tamiami Trail / US 41 @ University Pkwy.
- NB S. Tamiami Tr. / US 41 @ Siesta Dr.
- NB S Tamiami Trail / US 41 @ Bee Ridge Rd.
- SB S Tamiami Trail / US 41 @ Bee Ridge Rd.
- WB Bee Ridge Rd @ S Tamiami Trail / US 41.
- NB S. Tamiami Tr. / US 41 @ Bahia Vista St.
- SB S. Tamiami Tr. / US 41 @ Bahia Vista St.
Remember, if you are driving under the influence and are seen going through a red light, this could be evidence used later in a potential Florida DUI arrest.
Contact a Sarasota Traffic Lawyer When You Need Advice
If you received a notice of a violation in the mail or were stopped by the cops and ticketed for running a red light, contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. for help today. Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel can advise you of your rights and the best course of action in your situation. If you want to contest the violation or submit an affidavit, attorney Valcarcel can help you through the process.
If you or another person driving your car were involved in a crash after running a red light, the photos from a red light camera at the relevant intersection may be used against you in court. Running a red light can demonstrate negligence on your or the other driver’s part, which creates liability for an accident victim’s property damage and personal injuries. In this situation, contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. immediately. You will need an aggressive Florida traffic defense attorney.
Call us today at (941) 363-7900 to schedule an appointment.View All Blogs