Red light cameras may be illegal in Wisconsin, but that won’t stop you from receiving a fine of up to $100 for running a red light or stop sign. If you’ve been caught speeding through a red light, it’s important to know the options available to you.
Speeding through an intersection at a red light can be dangerous for you and other drivers. Every year, hundreds of people are killed and thousands of people are injured by cars failing to stop at red lights.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2019 alone, more than 143,000 people were injured due to drivers running red lights. They’ve also found that installing red light cameras reduced fatal red light running crashes in large cities by 21%. But the problem is that not all states allow the use of photo or video monitoring devices.
Running a red light is a quick decision, but the repercussions attached to a red light ticket can come with a high price tag. That’s why
car insurance super app and licensed broker
Jerry is here. We’re walking you through what you need to know about red light tickets in Wisconsin. Stick around until the end for a tip on how to reduce your
Wisconsin car insurance costs too!
Are red light cameras legal in Wisconsin?
No—Wisconsin currently prohibits the use of automated enforcement tools to detect or prove traffic law violations. However, a new bill submitted to the Wisconsin House would allow
Milwaukee to use red-light and speed cameras to nab drivers who disobey traffic laws.
The bill would allow the Milwaukee Police Department to issue tickets for speeding 20 mph or more over the posted limit.
What should I do if I receive a red light ticket?
Red light cameras may not be legal in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get off scot-free for running a red light or stop sign. Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign in Wisconsin carries the following fines:
$20 to $40 for the first offense within a year
$50 to $100 for the second and subsequent offense within a year
Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light will also add three demerit points to your
Wisconsin driving record. Accumulation of 12 or more points can lead to a minimum 30-day license suspension. Eligible drivers may complete a
Wisconsin defensive driving course to reduce the demerit points.
If you run a red light or stop sign and your actions result in injury or death, the charges will be more serious.
If you are cited for running a red light or stop sign in Wisconsin, you have two options: pay the fine or fight the ticket. Both approaches offer their own advantages and disadvantages, so we’re breaking down what you should know about both to help you make an informed decision.
How to pay a red light ticket
If you don’t want the hassle of fighting your ticket, your ticket can be paid online, by mail, or in person at the address listed on the ticket. However, this may vary between counties. Some states may also offer payment plans if you can’t afford the ticket amount in full.
Paying your red light ticket is an admission of guilt, which means you:
Waive your right to challenge the ticket in court
May have your license suspended by the Department of Transportation depending on your driving history
May see an increase in your car insurance premium
If choosing to pay your ticket by mail, the "deposit" amount must be mailed by your court date with a photocopy of your citation OR the following information:
Your correct name and address
Date of court appearance as listed on the citation
Checks can be made payable to the Clerk of Court and mailed to the court address. You are not required to appear in court if you choose this option. The court will find you guilty and retain the "deposit" amount as payment for your violation.
How to fight a red light ticket
The other option you have is to fight your red light ticket by pleading not guilty. If you choose to dispute the ticket, you either appear in court or enter a "not guilty" plea by mail before your court date. A photocopy of your ticket and your correct mailing address should be mailed to the court address.
You will appear in court before a judge unless a jury trial is demanded; this must be put in writing within 10 days of the court date on your citation, and the proper fee must be enclosed. Checks should be made payable to the Clerk of Court and forwarded to the address on your ticket.
The other option you have to fight your red light ticket is to hire an attorney. Fighting your red light ticket can help you to avoid fines, license suspension, and increased insurance premiums. You can expect an attorney to:
Request a contested hearing
Request discovery for your case
Negotiate to have your charges dropped or reduced
Only about 5% of people cited with a driving ticket choose to contest it in court.
How does a red light camera work?
A red light camera (RLC) captures images or videos of vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red. They are installed as a tool to help reduce the number of vehicles running red lights. Once a camera is triggered, images are sent to and reviewed by local law enforcement and then a ticket is issued to the vehicle owner regardless of who was driving.
If you run a red light, cameras will usually capture the following information:
Your license plate number
Amount of time since the light turned red
Date, time, and location of the violation
The IIHS showed that the use of red light cameras in high-traffic areas can reduce fatal crashes at intersections in major cities by 14%.
How to find affordable car insurance in Wisconsin
If you run a red light or stop sign in Wisconsin and are issued a ticket, it’s fair to say that your insurance premiums will most likely increase. Why not shop around for a new and cheaper policy?
Car insurance expert and licensed broker
Jerry can find you car insurance at the lowest rate in Wisconsin to keep your pockets from drying up. Jerry sends you the most competitive quotes from the country’s top insurance companies to get you the policy with the best coverage for the best price.
Getting started is simple: download the
trustworthy insurance comparison app, input your information, and Jerry will get to work! Jerry also makes switching easy by taking care of all the paperwork and even helping cancel your old policy. The average Jerry user saves $800+ per year on car insurance!
“My speeding ticket raised my insurance to $310/month.
Jerry got me full comprehensive coverage on two vehicles for $144/month through Progressive. I definitely recommend giving them a try.” —Brandon D.