Pennsylvania Red Light Cameras

You might have to pay a $100 fine if you are charged with a red light camera violation in Pennsylvania.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If you get a red light camera ticket in
Pennsylvania
it could cost you a $100 fine, so it’s a generally good idea to know your options for challenging one. 
If you’ve ever seen a flash go off while
driving
in traffic, it was probably a red light camera. These cameras take photographic and video evidence of traffic signal violations. They are used to deter people from dangerous road behaviors, but that doesn’t mean the technology is 100% accurate. 
If you think you’ve been issued a camera ticket in error, you need the tools and know-how to fight it. 
In Pennsylvania, the fine for running a red light isn’t light, and neither is the process for fighting it. We're here to explain what a red light camera is and to help guide you through the red light camera ticket process.
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Yes. Pennsylvania law permits the use of automated cameras to catch red light violations at intersections. While they are legal across the state, they are located in Philadelphia and its surrounding municipalities. 
If you’re wondering if there are any red light cameras in your neighborhood, you can contact your local government for more information.  

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

The penalty for running a red light in Pennsylvania is a fine of up to $100. 
Depending on the circumstances, you may choose to plead “guilty” and pay the ticket, or plead “not guilty” and challenge the ticket in court. Each has costs and benefits, but it’s important to make your decision quickly, as failing to plead before the ticket’s due date can result in further penalties. 

How to pay a red light camera ticket 

If you are okay with admitting guilt and want to sidestep inconvenience, you can conveniently pay your ticket fee
online
. You may check your traffic ticket notice should you want to pay your traffic ticket using another method.
Red light camera tickets are treated differently from other traffic violations in Pennsylvania. If you’re caught by law enforcement for running a red light, you can expect points on your record and increased insurance premiums, but this is not the case if caught by a red light camera. In this instance, if you can afford the fine, it may just be worth it to pay it. 
Key Takeaway A red light camera ticket will not increase your insurance premiums or affect your driving record in Pennsylvania.

How to fight a red light camera ticket

If you want to plead “not guilty” and fight the ticket, you can request a contested hearing. You may do so by signing your name on the “not guilty” line and mailing the citation to the court.  
If you choose to fight the ticket, take action as soon as possible. Leaving the ticket unpaid without responding can lead to late fees that will trickle down onto your credit report. And having a negative credit portfolio could impact future auto loan rates. 

How does a red light camera work?

A red light camera is hooked up to the traffic signal and sensors that can monitor traffic. As a vehicle approaches the intersection, these sensors can estimate its speed. If the light is red and the sensor measures a speed considered too fast to stop before the intersection, it will trigger the camera to take photos and video footage. 
In addition to recording photos and video of the vehicle, the camera will also document the date, time of day, and the location of the traffic violation.
If your state uses red light cameras, the roads are likely safer as a result. According to the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
, one study’s findings showed that red light cameras reduced the fatal crash rate in large cities by 21%. 

How to find affordable car insurance in Pennsylvania

Red light camera ticket or not, it’s always a good idea to get the best deal on your car insurance. If you’re guilty of overpaying for
car insurance
, it’s time to get someone in your corner to fight for better rates.
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FAQs

Usually, it takes about 30 to 60 days to get a red light camera ticket in the mail. If you receive a ticket from another source, or if the ticket is missing information and seems suspicious, you should contact the court to confirm whether or not the ticket is valid.
In Pennsylvania, a red light camera ticket will not cost you points on your license or increased premiums. If you’re pulled over for running a red light, however, the ticket will appear on your record and will likely increase your insurance rates.
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