Oklahoma Red Light Cameras

While red light cameras are illegal in Oklahoma, drivers can be fined up to $500 for running a red light.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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Although red light cameras are illegal in
Oklahoma
, running a red light or stop sign is a misdemeanor that results in up to $500 in fines.
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Unlike a large number of states, Oklahoma prohibits the use of red light cameras. A police officer is required to be present at the time of a suspected violation. 
That said, there are still strict laws around stopping at traffic signals on the road in Oklahoma. These are some non-negotiables that drivers need to follow:
  • It’s required to make a complete stop before a marked stop line
  • When there’s no stop line present, drivers must stop before reaching the intersection
  • Drivers need to stop completely at a red light (solid or flashing) or stop sign
If you fail to stop completely under these circumstances, you’ll be issued a red light ticket by a police officer at the scene.

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

A red light ticket is a serious violation that’s tried as a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. Drivers will face between $5 and $500 in fines and/or spend up to 10 days in jail
With each subsequent ticket, the penalties escalate with even more jail time. If a second or third offense is committed within a year, the driver will receive 20 days or six months in jail, respectively. No matter how severe the charge is, you can also earn two demerit points on your driving record.
In any case, there are three approaches you can take in response to the ticket:
  • Pay the ticket
  • Request a mitigation hearing
  • Request a contested hearing
The decision has to be made and communicated to the state before the ticket’s due date. Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to each outcome, and we’ll go over what to expect in each scenario.

How to pay a red light ticket

Two of your three options after receiving a red light ticket in Oklahoma include pleading guilty
If you decide to pay for the ticket, you’ll need to keep the following things in mind:
  • You won’t be able to contest your ticket in court
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended (depending on your record)
  • You’ll face increases in your insurance rates
Requesting a mitigation hearing is a chance to lighten the load of the ticket’s penalties in court. This is what to expect when you choose this path:
  • Your fine could be reduced by the court
  • You could implement a payment plan
  • You could complete community service hours
  • You’ll lose the opportunity to appeal the judge’s decision
The mitigation hearing route takes more time and effort, but it could position you to lessen your losses after a red light ticket.

How to fight a red light ticket

Red light cameras are prohibited in large part due to their margin for error, but human error can play just as large of a role in issuing tickets. If you believe you had a valid reason to make the maneuver that resulted in a ticket or were wrongly charged, you can plead not guilty.
You’ll need to mail in your ticket with an indication that you’d like to contest your ticket in court. There’s also an option to use the Off The Record app to complete that action digitally. Either way, your court appearance offers the option to:
  • Reduce or avoid fines
  • Drop a license suspension
  • Dodge increased insurance rates
Your best bet will be to get a lawyer on your side to represent you and negotiate with the judge to get your charges reduced or dropped. 
Another way to combat penalties is to take a driver improvement course through the state which can shed those demerit points from the ticket.
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How does a red light camera work?

Red light cameras are mounted devices that are typically placed in intersections either on a traffic light or inside of an authorized vehicle.
Using technology to capture real-time footage, red light cameras can inform police about several key pieces of information to convict red-light-runners, including:
  • Their license plate number
  • The date and time of the violation
  • The timing of the red light change
  • The speed they were traveling
Oklahoma residents have viewed red light cameras as an invasive approach to law enforcement, which is why police officers need to identify red-light-running violations first-hand.
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How do I know if a red light camera ticket is real? 

Red light cameras are not legal in Oklahoma, so if you get one claiming to be from that state, it’s likely fraud.
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