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How to fight "traffic camera" ticket

Seattle, WA |

I recently had a ticket sent to me in the mail about running a red light that was caught on camera. I didn't run this red light, I was in the left turn lane and could not turn left until after the light turned red b/c of all the traffic. I thought there was some lee-way there. Is this something I can fight?

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Attorney answers 1


In Washington there is no leeway when it comes to turning left on a red, unless you are coming from a one-way street and turning onto a one-way street, although in that scenario you must come to a complete stop and only turn if it is safe to do so.

If you turned in the intersection while the light was red, you are technically violating the law, though in practice people do this all the time. Unfortunately, traffic is not a defense. Instead, the law requires that you stay out of the intersection (in other words, don't proceed) until you can make the turn.

You can certainly fight the red light ticket on other grounds. Fortunately for you though, camera tickets in Washington currently do not affect your driving record or your insurance premiums. You can't ignore the ticket, but it will not affect your rates or driving privilege.

If the ticket had been issued by a police officer, this would be a moving violation that you would want to fight and probably seek the help of an attorney. Not the case here though.

This answer is given merely for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice, contact an attorney in your state to see if working together makes sense.



Thank you for your great answer! I really appreciate it.

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