Montana Red Light Cameras

If you are caught running a red light in Montana, you could be fined up to $500 depending on your conviction.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
Getting a red light ticket in
could cost up to $500 in fines and will add two points to your driving record. It would be advantageous to know what options you have to fight a citation. 
Red light cameras have been a handy tool for capturing evidence of traffic violations at intersections. Although banned in Montana, some states have found red light cameras reduce the occurrence of deadly accidents.
Montana drivers can rest easy knowing they won’t be caught on camera and receive a ticket by mail. However, you can still get pulled over by law enforcement for running a red light, so it’s imperative to follow the law and drive safely—if not to protect yourself and other drivers, then to avoid the legal consequences.
Running red lights in Montana will lead to increasingly expensive fines after the first violation. The
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No—automated cameras for detecting red-light violators are prohibited by Montana law. However, if you run a red light, you can still be caught by law enforcement and ticketed.

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

Since there are no red light cameras in Montana, there are no red light camera tickets. However, if law enforcement catches you running a red light, the fines in Montana are as follows: 
  • First offense: $10-$100
  • Second offense within a year: $25-$200
  • Third/subsequent offense within a year: $50-$500
The total could be more after factoring in court costs and fees. On top of fees, two points will also be added to your driving record, which could lead to license suspension.
After receiving a red light ticket in Montana, you have two options to handle it. You can either pay the fine cited on the ticket or fight the charge. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of each option below. 

How to pay a red light camera ticket 

Fighting a ticket can require a lot of time and effort. If you’d rather just pay the fine, you can do so online using CitePay USA, by mail, or in person at the
court address
listed on your ticket. The fine must be paid before your scheduled court date.
Choosing to pay the fine in Montana also means an admission of guilt. This will typically result in two points being added to your driving record. 
Traffic violations usually stay on your record for life. However, in some cases, the judge may allow you to take an approved defensive driving course to dismiss the ticket. Be sure to ask the judge if this is an option for you. 

How to fight a red light camera ticket

Fighting your ticket could be stressful but would be worth it if the consequences affect your livelihood.
However, before contesting the ticket, consider the following:
  • Is there legal proof that can be presented to support you?
  • Will the points added to your record lead to license suspension (or other consequences)?
  • Can you commit the time for court appearances?
  • Will you face any jail time if you don’t try to contest?
If you decide to fight the ticket, you must first submit a not guilty plea before the deadline on your traffic ticket. You will then be assigned dates for court hearings. Missing any of the dates will immediately result in license suspension and/or a warrant for your arrest.
Hiring an experienced traffic attorney can help alleviate some of the associated stress and provide sound guidance on whether or not contesting the charge is a good idea.

How does a red light camera work?

The sensors in traffic lights are triggered when a car enters an intersection after the light turns red. This then triggers the red light cameras to capture photo and video footage that records the following information:
  • License plate number
  • Date and time of the incident 
  • Vehicle speed
  • Location
  • Time since the light turned red
Since most red light cameras are run by third-party companies, they will send the footage and data from the camera to the appropriate agencies. The information is then used to issue a ticket to the driver violating red light laws or other traffic infractions.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
found that the presence of red light cameras can reduce fatal crashes at intersections in major cities by 14%. Although this success rate has led to many states legalizing the use of red light cameras for traffic enforcement, Montana still prohibits their use.

How to find affordable car insurance in Montana

Getting a red light ticket in Montana will likely increase your car insurance premiums. However, with
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Download the Jerry app, sign up, and start shopping for a new policy with lower premiums without sacrificing your coverage. Within 45 seconds, you’ll find competitive quotes that suit your coverage needs—even with a less-than-perfect driving record.
Switching policies is just as easy since Jerry will handle the paperwork for you. The average Jerry user saves an average of $887 a year on car insurance! 
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