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How to fight a stop light camera ticket in Auburn, WA

Auburn, WA |

My wife got a stop light ticket in one of my company vehicles. So the registration just has the company name on it.

I have to approaches.

1) said by RCW 46.64.015 :

An officer may not serve or issue any traffic citation or notice for any offense or violation except either when the offense or violation is committed in his or her presence or when a person may be arrested..

How's that for you? An officer cannot issue a citation for a traffic offense unless he witnesses you commit it. Picture != witness. A CRIME? Sure. But running a red isn't a crime, only an infraction. So to beat a red light ticket in Washington, contest the ticket, subpoena the issuing officer, call him to the stand at the court date, and ask him if he personally witnessed you commit the infraction. When he says no, recite the above-referenced law to the judge.

2) Yes, your honor, that was my car. However, cars cannot violate statute and I was not driving. Since the obligation is on the prosecution to prove their case, it is not your obligation to tell them it was your wife, girlfriend, any other friend, kid or whatever driving, just that is was not you.

Parking and non-moving violations are the responsibility of the registered owner, moving violations are the responsibility of the individual driving and the registered owner cannot be found guilty by ownership of such offences.

Red-light cameras and speed cameras should be banned and found to be illegal since civilian operators have no powers of arrest or ability to enforce the V.C. beyond that of any other civilian.

So what is you advice.

Thanks for your time,


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Attorney answers 2


I hate red-light cameras and I think in many ways they are a waste of resources; however, your analysis is interesting but a bit off.

46.64.015 is not as clear as it looks - there are many different interpretations of this statute, and statutes have also been supplemented by court rules.

Without getting into a long legal analysis (we don't have the space for it in Avvo Answers), the Legislature has authorized municipalities to use red-light cameras; camera tickets do not affect a driver's insurance premiums; and a vehicle owner issued a notice of infraction for a camera infraction can fight the ticket in court and file a declaration of non-responsibility.

While I agree with the questioner's disdain of red-light cameras, the place to start in banning red-light cameras is with the Legislature or a citizen initiative. It would not be difficult for citizens to gather the required signatures for a petition.

Michael F. Morgan

Michael F. Morgan


The photo enforcement ticket is arguably a parking infraction and not a traffic infraction which is the response to this argument


We are pursuing a class action against the cities that use these cameras and the manufacturers of the cameras themselves. Please visit for more information if have received a ticket.