If you think you got away with running that red light on an empty road, think again. The state of Florida has recently installed cameras on traffic signals throughout each of its counties, resulting in an influx of red light violations from drivers trying to beat that yellow light. If you’ve recently received a surprise ticket in the mail, it could be because someone was watching – even when you thought they weren’t!
How Red Light Cameras Work
The Traffic Light Safety Program is designed to keep drivers aware of the dangers they face at intersections. By imposing penalties upon drivers who illegally enter an intersection, the state hopes to decrease the number of accidents which occur as a result of red light infractions. Now, some of the busiest intersections throughout the state are equipped with cameras that will take a photo of your vehicle when you pass through a red light.
You will NOT receive a red light ticket if you were already in the intersection waiting to turn when the light changed to red. Tickets are only assessed to those drivers who proceed into the intersection AFTER the traffic signal is displaying a steady red light.
Fines and Penalties
Once your vehicle has been caught running a red light, your ticket will be mailed to the address associated with the car’s license plate. While most fines are county-dependent, the average is around $160 for your first offense. You must pay the fine by the date listed on your ticket, or request a hearing to dispute the ticket (just as you would with any other moving violation). Luckily, these infractions do not incur any points, and therefore will not be reported to your insurance company.
Reduce or Erase Your Fine with Traffic School
There is an option for drivers who do not wish to pay the fine for running a red light. On or before your court date, you may request permission to take a Florida traffic school course and have your fee or violation waived. If this is your first offense, most courts will allow you to choose this option.
At this point, you are best served completing your traffic school course online. With an online course, you’ll be able to meet your court’s requirements without having to schedule a classroom course around your busy life. An online basic driver improvement course works within your existing activities, allowing you to come and go freely from your lessons and complete the course around your own comfortable pace. Just make sure you finish before your court-appointed deadline in order to receive credit for the course!