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- How does a red light camera work?
- Are red light cameras legal in Texas?
- What should I do if I receive a red light camera ticket?
- How to find affordable car insurance in Texas
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Red light cameras have been banned in Texas since 2019, but a few cameras are still operational. If you receive a ticket from one of these remaining cameras, it’s best to pay the $75 fine.
Running a red light might seem like a minor mistake, but this violation is responsible for serious injuries and deaths than almost any other traffic crime.
Red light cameras, which capture footage of cars that run red lights, have become a significant tool for cities to reduce the frequency of accidents at intersections. However, some states have banned the use of red light camera evidence.
Stay informed about your state’s red light camera law with car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry. In this article, we’ll break down the laws governing red light cameras in Texas.
How does a red light camera work?
A red light camera is a traffic enforcement camera that uses signals from traffic lights to photograph any car that runs a red light. If the sensor detects a car entering the intersection after the light has turned red, the device triggers the camera and takes either a series of pictures or a video of the offending vehicle.
Images and video from these cameras can capture your license plate number and may include information about the vehicle speed, the amount of time since the light turned red, and the date, time, and location of the incident. This data allows law enforcement agencies to issue tickets and track the frequency of red light violations.
Law enforcement analyzes the footage sent by red light cameras and issues tickets based on the vehicle’s registration. If you live in a state where red light cameras are legal, be sure to keep your registration up to date so that the tickets are not sent to the wrong address.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the use of red light cameras can reduce fatal crashes at intersections with traffic lights by 14%.
Are red light cameras legal in Texas?
In 2019, Chapter 707 of the Texas Transportation Code outlawed all “photographic traffic signal enforcement systems.” Under this law, it is illegal for any local authority to operate a red light camera or use evidence from a red light camera to issue a traffic citation.
Some cities in Texas still have red light cameras because their governments are under contract with the companies that sell them and must finish their deals. However, any ticket issued based on evidence from these cameras is unenforceable under state law.
The Texas cities that still operate red light cameras are:
- Balcones Heights
- Leon Valley
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What should I do if I receive a red light camera ticket?
If you receive a ticket in the mail, you do not have to pay it. Because the Texas Transportation Code bans the use of red light camera evidence, you will not face any legal penalties for not paying the ticket.
However, the debt can still be sent to collections if you choose not to pay. If you begin receiving calls from a collection agency, it’s better to pay the ticket to avoid a dip in your credit score.
How to pay a red light camera ticket
The maximum fine for a red light ticket in Texas is $75. If you’re able to pay the ticket, this is the best way to prevent the debt from going to collections.
How to fight a red light camera ticket
If you choose not to pay your ticket, there’s a chance that the DMV will attempt to block your registration renewal. If this happens, you can go in person to the DMV to request that the block be lifted.
In general, it’s better to pay the fine. The violation cannot be added to your record, so you’ll just need to absorb the cost.
How to find affordable car insurance in Texas
Red light tickets can be a pain to deal with, but they’re not a major expense. Car insurance, on the other hand, can put a Texas-sized strain on your budget.
If you’d like your insurance bill to look a little smaller, download the Jerry app. In under two minutes, Jerry will search for competitive quotes on car insurance from 50+ leading companies, and you’ll be able to pick the coverage and rate that work best for you.
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How do I know if a red light camera ticket is real?
The DMV only sends red light camera tickets through the mail. If you get a phone call or email about a red light ticket, it’s a scam. If you receive a letter that’s missing information such as a court date, or one that includes suspicious URLs, it’s probably not legitimate. Check with the DMV if you’re not sure a Texas red light camera ticket is legitimate.