Red Light Camera Scam

Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Take a good look. This is my car at River & Oracle here in Tucson. I’m making a left from Oracle heading south to River heading east. The red light camera got me, and most of yesterday was spent in defensive driving school.

(click to enlarge)

Why? What was wrong here? Why didn’t someone look at this and say hey, you’re in the intersection on a yellow light, you HAD to complete your turn, and that’s not illegal!

The answer is what an officer explained to me as "prolongation of the curb." The lines you see in the photo are the crosswalk, but are somehow NOT considered the line that designates if you are in the intersection. That line is about 10 feet in front of my car. I hadn’t crossed that line yet, which means legally, I wasn’t in the intersection yet. Which means I "ran a red light" by driving into the intersection on a red light.

The officer told me that if I had stopped behind the line 10 feet in front of me, that would have been totally legal. I would not have run the red light. Yeah, it’s weird.

How do they get away with that? It has to do with where they painted the crosswalk compared to where the lanes of traffic running east and west in front of me actually are. You’d think that the cars driving left to right in front of me would come RIGHT by that crosswalk, and if I pull out further, I’ll get creamed. But not at this intersection. I can pull out further and nothing happens because there is a turning lane that doesn’t continue. But the space for it is still there. So the cars driving left and right are not passing right near the crosswalk.

Look out for intersections like these if your town has them! They are setting up red light cameras to catch people who do NOT know about this law. And you can’t win in traffic court because legally speaking, you ran a red light, and not knowing about the law doesn’t excuse it. I heard people give lots of good excuses as to why they made the left, and the judge rejected all of them. So I decided to not have my case heard, and just go to defensive driving.

You pay for the class, and they wipe the ticket off your record. So it’s a scam to bring in revenue. Don’t fall for it! Know about this weird law!

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

Comments Closed

4 Responses to “Red Light Camera Scam”

  1. Neil says:

    “Prolongation of the curb”? Is that anything like “subluxation of the spine”? Sounds like a bunch of hooey.. maybe you should have said, “But sir, I was doing 65 MPH on that left hand turn, and easily cleared the intersection before that yellow arrow disappeared.”

  2. Debbie says:

    Doesn’t matter.
    They’ve since repainted that line, put reflectors on it, and painted WAIT just before the line.

  3. Katrina says:

    I recently went to court for a ticket at this intersection and I tried to fight it but didnt even get to the judge. An officer pulled me aside and gave me the option of taking guilty plea or going to driving school! Of course I took the driving school but I was told the same thing about the lines. This is there way of paying for that freeway expansion, I KNOW IT!!!

  4. El Kabong says:

    They’re making ticket-free driving nearly impossible these days.
    I can’t wait for the new streetcar.