Hawaii Red Light Cameras

You could be charged $200 for your first offense if a Hawaii red light camera catches you running a red light or stop sign.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 10, 2023
If you get a red light camera ticket in
, you could be facing fines of $200 or more. Those fines go up with subsequent tickets, so it’s important to know what your options are if you believe you were ticketed wrongly.
Red light cameras use photo and video evidence to help law enforcement penalize drivers for committing traffic violations at busy intersections. These cameras can make a big difference in the number of fatal accidents at intersections, but they do sometimes mistakenly ticket drivers who didn’t do anything wrong.
If you’ve recently received a red light camera ticket in Hawaii and you believe it’s a mistake, you need to know what you can do to challenge that citation. Luckily,
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Yes. In 2021, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) received approval from lawmakers to install cameras on the island of Oahu for a two-year pilot program. The program hopes to make intersections safer by ticketing drivers who run red lights or stop signs.
There will be warning signs posted at any intersections where these cameras are located. If a driver enters the intersection after their light turns red, the camera will photograph the back of the vehicle. A citation will then be sent to the owner of the vehicle (even if they weren’t the person who was driving at the time the citation was issued).

What should I do if I receive a red light camera ticket?

If you get a red light camera ticket in Hawaii, the fines are $200 for the first offense. That goes up to $300 for your second offense in a year and a whopping $500 for every subsequent ticket in the same year. You might also be required to take a driver retraining course
Your two options for dealing with these tickets are to either pay the fine or try to fight it. There are pros and cons to each.

How to pay a red light camera ticket 

The easiest way to deal with your ticket is to just pay it outright. According to Hawaii Revised Statutes §291D-6(a), you must respond to the ticket within 21 days of the citation being issued. There are three ways to pay for the ticket:
  • Mail your payment using the pre-addressed envelope that came with your citation or a regular envelope addressed to the District Court that’s closest to where you received the ticket
  • Pay in person at any District Court in Hawaii
  • Pay online through the
    eTraffic Hawaii
If you pay in person or by mail, be sure to include a copy of the ticket along with your payment.

How to fight a red light camera ticket

If you want to contest the ticket—like if you weren’t driving your vehicle or you think the photo was taken by accident—check the “Not Guilty” box on your ticket. Then, use the provided envelope to mail the ticket to the appropriate District Court.
If you’re granted a hearing, you’ll need to prove that you didn’t commit any offense. The three most common ways to argue against a red light ticket are:
  • Challenging whether the camera was functioning properly: If the camera malfunctioned, your ticket could be dismissed.
  • Demonstrating that the images are blurry. If the picture of your license plate is blurry, it could cast doubt on whether it was your vehicle in the intersection at all.
  • Prove that you ran the red light to protect others. If you can find witnesses from the scene who will testify that you ran the red light to avoid a collision, the judge might dismiss your red light ticket.
It’s not easy to fight a red light ticket, so collect as much evidence as you can, and try to get witnesses to testify on your behalf, if you can find them. It may also help to hire an attorney.

How does a red light camera work?

Red light cameras are connected to traffic lights. They capture photos and videos of any vehicles that enter an intersection after the light turns red. The camera will record your license plate number, along with information like: 
  • The date and time of the infraction
  • How fast you were going
  • Where you were located
  • How long it had been since the light turned red
Most red light cameras are managed by a third-party company. The company reviews the footage, then sends the photos or videos and any relevant data to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Law enforcement can then issue tickets to the owner of any vehicles that were used to commit an infraction, like running a red light or a stop sign or making an illegal turn on red.
One study by the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
found that red light cameras effectively reduced fatal crashes at intersections in large cities by 14%. Because of the success these programs have had in saving lives, many states allow cities to operate red light cameras to enforce traffic laws.

How to find affordable car insurance in Hawaii

If you’re issued a red light ticket in Hawaii, your car insurance is probably going to go up. Luckily, you’re not alone when it comes to finding affordable insurance that gives you the coverage level you’re comfortable with.
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