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  1. #1
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Red Light Enforcement



    A classmate of mine is writing his research paper on red light enforcement (red light cameras) and this question came up. I told him I would ask the pros. What happens if the vehicle is stolen? Would the owner still be held responsible? My thinking is if a vehicle is stolen and the owner reports it immediately he wouldn't/couldn't be held liable since authorities could verify date and time. Am I right? For the record, I support red light enforcement 100%. Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I've been told by a co-worker that fighting his red-light ticket was very easy since the camera didn't catch his face - He went before a judge, and said "prove it was me driving".

    Verdict: Not guilty. The trial took less than 10 minutes.

    Yes, it was him driving.

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  3. #3
    Coloradocop's Avatar
    Coloradocop is offline It's the PoPo
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    First I'll start with a personal bias. I'm not a fan of red light cameras or photo radar. The police do the police work better than a remote/automated camera. Discretion is part of my job, and I have an ability to make dynamic decisions that a camera can not. This opinion stems partially from the fact that the city gives us tickets (while we are in our patrol cars, and on-duty) for speeding past the photo radar... If I'm driving fast while at work, I have a reason to be doing so. The city feels that unless it is a specifically "authorized" emergency run (with light/siren on at the time of the picture) you should be driving Ms. Daisy. Unless, of course, you are the chief... who recently announced on the news that he didn't need to pay his photo radar ticket because he was on duty.

    Well, now that I'm coming down off of my soap box, here we go:

    If a car has been reported stolen, a driver can't really be held accountable for the actions of the thief. I can't pin contraband found in a recovered steal on the owner, simply because it must be assumed that it belonged to the thief. On a similar note, traffic violations (Hit and Run, red light, etc) are not the responsibility of an owner once stolen. That's our take on it around here.

    But, that hasn't stopped people from doing stupid shit in their cars, then trying to claim that the vehicle was "stolen". EXAMPLE: Idiot crashes car and abandons it (probably drunk at the time). Idiot goes home and sleeps off his hangover. Next day idiot reports car stolen. I know our detectives have caught a few people pulling crap like this, and they seem to follow it up with a "false report" charge in many cases.

  4. #4
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    It depends on the laws of the state where it's used, but when we had it in VA, the registered owner could provide an affadavit that they weren't driving at the time of the offense, and they wouldn't have to pay the fine. So, if the car was stolen -- that would solve the problem. A few additional points about how it worked here (the law's sunset provision passed and it was not renewed): A sworn officer reviewed the film or video and issued the ticket, not a civilian or contract worker, so they could assess the circumstances. It was a civil fine, not a traffic infraction, so no DMV points accrued. In the case where a cop on patrol got a driver and the red-light camera might have also, we notified the officer in charge of the cameras, and they didn't issue a second ticket.

    As to whether there good or effective... Well, I've seen first hand the difference they make. In jurisdictions with red light camera enforcement, red light running every where goes down. In jurisdictions without them... It can be rampant. I live in a jurisdiction that didn't have it, and worked in one that did. Red light running in my home area got so bad that I was almost afraid to start across under a green until I'd waited several seconds! But I could try to get red light violations at work -- without much success. That's my experience... That and the simple fact that most of the Virginia jurisdictions using them didn't make gross profits off of the systems.

    (I don't like speed cameras; speed varies and an officer can assess a momentary "oops" where the speed got away from the driver for whatever reason when a camera can't.)

  5. #5
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
    Piggybank Cop is offline Nobody important.
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    Man I hate when you guys do that.

    I jumped right in all hot and bothered and it's not about ladies of the evening.

    We are the thin blue line
    between you
    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.

  6. #6
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    i have never understood how the ticket can hold up...
    if our ticket is argued in court i have to tell the judge that i identified the driver by his florida DL in unic dade cnty....
    if I dont say those words exactly the ticket is dismissed.
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  7. #7
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    In our contract cities that have photo enforcement, the cameras capture a video from multiple angles - it's not just a quick photo.

    It amazes me that people are willing to commit perjury just to dodge a ticket they earned.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  8. #8
    CopsRCool302 Guest
    Wonder if they would get a laugh if I where to climb up on the poll and give them a big smile like this lololol..

    I'm all for it, it can capture accidents, I sat one night watching them flashers going off, I mean, you would think Bush was in town and everyone was taking photos lololol..

    I Like it though....

  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    when we had it in VA, the registered owner could provide an affadavit that they weren't driving at the time of the offense, and they wouldn't have to pay the fine
    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    It amazes me that people are willing to commit perjury just to dodge a ticket they earned.
    Why should he have to do that? It's the States' burden to prove that he was driving.

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  10. #10
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
    Crimebytes2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    It's the States' burden to prove that he was driving.
    I'm confused. In Texas, are tickets issued based on driver identity or vehicle ownership (verified through vehicle registration) as is the case in Iowa?

  11. #11
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
    Crimebytes2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1sgkelly View Post
    Man I hate when you guys do that. I jumped right in all hot and bothered and it's not about ladies of the evening.
    Sorry to disappoint you, kelly!

  12. #12
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
    Piggybank Cop is offline Nobody important.
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    "Why should he have to do that? It's the States' burden to prove that he was driving."

    His car. If he wasn't who was. Was the vehicle stolen?
    We are the thin blue line
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  13. #13
    TheOldRhino's Avatar
    TheOldRhino is offline Corporal
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    In GA, the law states the owner of the vehicle is responsible for it. As a courtesy, our city court gives the driver the opprotunity to prove it wasn't them driving so we can cite the person that was driving.
    The virtue of spirit has no need for thanks or approval. Only the certain conviction that what has been done is right. -Jor El, as played by Marlon Brando

  14. #14
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    In GA, the law states the owner of the vehicle is responsible for it. As a courtesy, our city court gives the driver the opprotunity to prove it wasn't them driving so we can cite the person that was driving.
    So the faces of drivers are recorded?

  15. #15
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
    Piggybank Cop is offline Nobody important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1sgkelly View Post
    "Why should he have to do that? It's the States' burden to prove that he was driving."

    His car. If he wasn't who was. Was the vehicle stolen?
    And if he wasn't lets get him for accessory before the fact.
    We are the thin blue line
    between you
    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.

  16. #16
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimebytes2 View Post
    I'm confused. In Texas, are tickets issued based on driver identity or vehicle ownership (verified through vehicle registration) as is the case in Iowa?
    Hmmm... Good question. I'll have to look that up, but I was under the impression the ticket had to be written against the person, not against the car... And my co-worker did get a "not guilty" based on lack of positive identity.

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  17. #17
    OffDuty's Avatar
    OffDuty is offline The Shotgun is Family.
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    Some VERY good articles on red light cameras have been made by Patrick Bedard at Car & Driver.. go to caranddriver.com and search for his name and the articles will pop up with some minor searching... great reads, and probably worthy of citing in the paper.
    There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...


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  18. #18
    TheOldRhino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimebytes2 View Post
    So the faces of drivers are recorded?
    Owner. Not driver. The registered owner of the vehicle is responsible for that vehicle. But, like I said, our city extends the courtesy to the owner to bring proof that someone else was driving the vehicle- such as a sworn statement.
    The virtue of spirit has no need for thanks or approval. Only the certain conviction that what has been done is right. -Jor El, as played by Marlon Brando

  19. #19
    covman454's Avatar
    covman454 is offline Officer First Class
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    I'll start this out by saying we don't have the cameras, but one of the communities nearby does. It created quite a flap in the local paper when they were installed. The liberal rag didn't like the whole "big brother" idea and thought by installing the cameras everyone's civil rights were going to be trampled on. (I hate our local paper)

    From what I have been told, the violations are a civil infraction, just like a parking ticket. This does two things, #1 it makes the fine lower (no court costs) and #2, it lowers the burden of proof to a "preponderance of evidence". And like a parking ticket, it is written to the owner of the car. Because of the civil violation the burden of proof to prove the owner didn't do it falls on the owner.

    The violation also does not count against the DL of the person.

    Covman
    Last edited by covman454; 10-31-06 at 07:10 AM. Reason: I forgot something

  20. #20
    ghost98 is offline BEEN THERE BUT NOT EVERYWHERE
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    Sometime i think its just another way for the city to generate more revenue..... Everyone I know that has fought the summons has won.. I guess im indifferent on this issue. i've seen them work where people who knew they were there would be very cautious when approaching the intersection with the camera, and i've seen more accidents (and taken reports) where people at the last second realized there was a camera and suddenly hit the brakes only to be rear-ended..

 

 
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