Oregon Red Light Cameras

Red light cameras are legal in Oregon. You’ll find most of them in the northwestern part of the state, especially in the Portland area.
Written by Maxine Boyko
A red light camera ticket in
could cost you up to a $265 fine. It helps to know how to fight the ticket to avoid having to pay such an expensive penalty. 
  • The fine for running a red light in Oregon is one of the highest in the nation
  • Red light photo enforcement uses cameras to capture traffic infractions via photos and video footage—but the technology isn’t perfect
  • If you believe you’ve received a red light camera citation in error, you can consider challenging the ticket
  • Red light runners can expect to pay a $265 fine in Oregon
Oregon law allows police departments to utilize red light camera enforcement programs—along with speed camera enforcement programs—to enforce local traffic laws, so long as they are monitoring intersections. 
You’ll find the most speed limit and red light cameras located in the northwestern part of Oregon, with most concentrated in Portland.   
You can check whether your town uses photo red light cameras—and where they’re located—by contacting your local government or law enforcement. 

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

The standard penalty for red light running in Oregon, which would fall under failure to obey a traffic control device, is $265.
You have a couple of options when it comes to fighting a red light camera ticket in Oregon: 
  • Pay the fine for the traffic violation outright 
  • Fight the ticket in court
Keep in mind: In Oregon, driving through an intersection on a yellow light is considered a violation if you could have safely stopped before reaching it.
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How to pay a red light camera ticket in Oregon

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of fighting the citation: The exact procedure to pay your red light ticket may vary slightly depending on the jurisdiction where your violation took place in Oregon.
Typically, motorists have several options to pay a traffic ticket:
  • By phone
  • In person
  • By mail
Check the back of your citation for the directions associated with each method to pay your fine.
If you have any questions regarding payment, contact the court handling your case: If you’re eligible, the system will automatically guide you through requesting an online fine reduction.
Follow the instructions on your ticket to request a hearing: If you’re not automatically eligible for a fine reduction online, you can request a mitigation hearing. The result of the hearing could be a fine reduction, a monthly payment plan, or community service. 
Remember to read your citation packet in full: You may have the option to enroll in a traffic safety course, which could keep your red light violation off your record.

How to fight a red light camera ticket

If you want to fight a red light camera ticket: You will need to plead “not guilty” to the violation and request a contested hearing. To do so, fill out and submit the certificate of innocence form according to the instructions. Make sure the information is complete and accurate before you turn it in, or you might not get your ticket dismissed.
Red light camera enforcement isn’t perfect: One in four tickets is issued in error, and only 5% of drivers contest them. For example, if you stopped at a red light just before a crosswalk and the camera was triggered, or if you were already turning through an intersection while a light turned red and the footage can demonstrate you couldn’t have safely stopped, it might be worth contesting your ticket.
If you think you’ve been accidentally cited for running a red light, gather evidence and don’t be afraid to challenge the ticket. 
While it may be more expensive to hire an attorney rather than pay the ticket, it could save you from a mark on your
Oregon driving record
and increased
car insurance
Key Takeaway You can fight your red light camera citation by hiring a lawyer and appearing in traffic court. It may be worth contesting a ticket in order to keep your driving record clean and your insurance rates low.

How does a red light camera work?

A red light camera system connects the camera, traffic light, and sensors to monitor traffic. If a vehicle passes through the intersection after the light turns red, the camera will capture photo and video evidence—including the offender’s license plate. Cameras used at intersections may also be used for speed enforcement.
Along with taking a photo of the vehicle, the traffic enforcement camera also documents the date and time of day and the elapsed time since the red light signal. It also uses photo radar to capture the vehicle's speed. 
If a police officer reviews the footage and determines that a violation occurred, a citation is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Keep in mind: Many cities run their red light camera systems by contracting the help of third-party companies. Many of these allow you to access your own
red light violation photographs
online using the information provided in your citation. 
Many states permit the use of red light programs as a way to improve traffic safety and reduce fatal crashes. The
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
showed in one study that using red light cameras reduces fatal crashes at major city intersections with traffic signals by 14%. 
“Amazing! I’ll admit, I’m young with 2 accidents. This spiked my insurance rates and every quote I found.
, though, helped me find affordable insurance. It truly helped me!” —Marcus F.
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A red light ticket should only come through the mail in Oregon. If you receive a ticket that seems suspicious or has incomplete information, contact the court to confirm whether or not the ticket is valid.
Any traffic infraction will be noted by your insurance company. Depending on the severity of the violation and the state of your driving record, a red light camera ticket could cause a hike in your insurance rates.
Oregon state law requires vehicles to stop before entering the intersection on a yellow light, and failure to do so can result in getting a ticket. The only exception to this is if you can’t safely stop before reaching the intersection.
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