Gray Area in Photos, 0.7 seconds after yellow

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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:49 pm

Gray Area in Photos, 0.7 seconds after yellow

by: mimoza on
Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Hello everyone. I need some advice. The charge is running a red light at an intersection, and a hefty $325 fine. My case does not seem like an open and shut clear cut case of a person randomly running a red light, blatantly and with no other traffic around. Had a policeman pulled me over, I am confident he would have let me off with a warning. Further, there seems to be a list of grey area's with the photographic "evidence" presented to me, so I am wondering if any of these should be brought up when showing up with a Please Of Guilty-Submissions As To Penalty (option 2) OR take it to trial with any of these concerns? I will list them here:

1) the data reads that I ran the red light at 0.7 seconds after the yellow changed. My point: I was actually pumping the brakes to stop as I noticed the yellow light, and the photo clearly shows the brake lights on while I am in the middle of the intersection. I actually stopped and backed up, bringing me to point #2

2) the speed reads the same even as I am stopping in the middle of the intersection, brake lights on (as seen in photo #2) yet the data reads my speed to be the same as in the first photo. Could this be in accurate data, and thus warrant a decent defense? How could the speed be the same if I am clearly braking? Does this then not call into question the credibility and timing of the computer that calculated not only my speed but the elapsed time of the amber to red (0.7 seconds)?

3)As seen in the photo, there were many other vehicles all still turning left in BOTH photos, three in total. It seemed like a shorter than usual yellow, I remember this incident vividly because my mother and my wife were in the care and we were all pretty surprised. I stopped and backed back up behind the line, and the third photo shows the close up of the license plate of the stopped car, which brings me to this point:

4) The third photo shows a close up of my vehicle, STOPPED at the line before the intersection, but with no third red light (the "idiot" light in the middle of the rear window), yet the second photo shows the vehicle in the middle of the intersection braking, and the middle light is definitely on. The vehicles do not match, if one was to go by the photo evidence. So, can I contest that the photo is not of my vehicle, seeing that there is an inconsistency between the photo's? (one vehicle has the light, the other doesn't)

5) My intention was to stop, even though it was a yellow light. It is clear in the photo I was trying to brake, and was braking in the middle of the busy intersection. I was not trying to run a red light, there were many vehicles in action turning left on both sides. Apparently (according to the "computer" calculating the photo, I missed the amber light by 0.7 seconds.

Do I have any arguments, cases, defenses, etc? And if I do, should I take it to trial, OR plead it using the second option? Any help here is greatly appreciated. My financial situation is worse than ever with a recent layoff, (I know, sob sob) my driving record is near perfect, I have a literally perfect driving record.
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by: Stanton on
Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:09 pm

1) As its an absolute liability offence, that fact that you were trying to stop is irrelevant. You either did or you didnt.
2) Maybe someone else can clarify, but I was under the impression the camera only measures your speed when you first enter the intersection. The information at the top of the photo may not correspond with the actual instant it was taken.
3) Vehicles in the intersection are allowed to complete their turns on an amber/red light. Typically your average intersection will have at least a three second amber, with larger intersections having longer ones. You could always go back and time the amber light if you feel its too short.
4) The lack of one brake light being on doesnt seem like a viable defence. Is the vehicle the same make, model and colour? Many newer cars also feature variable intensity brake lights, with some lights dimming or not activating depending on the braking intensity.
5) Again, its an absolute liability offence. Even if you missed it by only 0.01 seconds you still committed the offence.

I havent heard of any successful defence strategies against red light cameras that dont involve technicalities. The two common ones are tickets being issued on out of date forms, or the data stamp on top of the photos being in code with no explanation provided. A search of the forum should provide you with more info on these strategies.

In terms of the fine, if you plead guilty and explain your situation, most fines get reduced by half. Keep in mind that since its a red light camera ticket, it will NOT impact your insurance, etc. because you were charged as the owner, not the driver. There is no record on your driving abstract of the charge.
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