The purpose of the red light camera is to reduce the number of traffic violations that occur in DC, which will then prevent any accident and injuries.
Red light cameras are a part of an automated photo enforcement program, which automatically takes the picture of any license plates of vehicles whose drivers violate DC traffic regulations. However, the photographs are only able to capture the rear of the vehicle and the license plate and are not able to capture the individual who is driving at the time of the violation.
DC Municipal Regulation 18 Section 2103 states that a vehicle facing a red light must stop before entering the intersection. It must remain stopped until a green light or flashing yellow light is shown.
Additionally, a vehicle may turn right on red after stopping, once it is safe to do so. If either of these are violated and caught by a red light camera, it is considered a traffic infraction and the person will face a $150 fine. They will also receive two points on their driver’s record if an infraction is issued.
The Metropolitan Police Department developed an automated photo enforcement program that allows a person to receive a red light camera citation.
Additionally, an officer from the Department may pull someone over and issue a red light infraction; however, if they want to pay the ticket or contest the ticket, that is all handled and enforced by the DC DMV.
Typically citations are mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner after an examination of the license plate photograph. Once they have been notified, they have to either pay the fine, which is $150, or request an administrative hearing to contest the ticket.
A person may request an administrative hearing that will take place at the DMV to contest the citation. If someone is not happy with the hearing examiner’s decision, they may submit a Motion for Reconsideration within 30 days of the hearing examiner’s decision.
An individual may receive a red light citation by a police officer if the officer’s view is slightly obstructed—for example, if a person was to come to a complete stop a few feet behind the limit line where the officer is not able to see that person and, after stopping, that person proceeded into the intersection.
Additionally, some people may receive a ticket for running a red light due to the fact that he or she stops in front of the white limit line instead of behind.
An attorney may be able to provide defenses to a red light infraction and will be able to contest the ticket and appear on an individual’s behalf at the administrative hearing. For example, a lawyer may argue that the stoplight or the stop sign was obstructed or recently installed. These defenses may result in the infraction being dismissed altogether.
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