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How do you fight a red light camera ticket, have the fine reduced?, readers ask
Dear Street Smarts, Q: A while back you did an article about a woman who got a ticket from the photo police after stopping and then making a right turn. My husband is going through the same problem. I cannot remember how that turned out. How can I get a copy of that story? Thanks so much, Ellen Troth via email A: I had to go back to July of last year to find the letter you were inquiring about. Here's the link: http://www.santacruzlive.com/streetsmarts/2010/07/08/reader-questions-his-red-light-violation-in-capitola/ In the future, you can search any topic you've seen or may be interested in on the Street Smarts blog at www.santacruzlive.com/blogs/streetsmarts. Good luck with fighting that ticket. It can be done. The traffic judge is sharp as a tack and very fair. Let me know how it turns out. Q: A few months ago, I was on 41st Street, on my way to the mall. There's a traffic light there whose purpose isn't very clear since there is no cross traffic. But that's not important. I knew, when I saw the camera's flash that I had rolled the light and that I had been caught. What astounded me was the amount of my ticket. With traffic court, $530! Without, $478. That seems way out of proportion, don't you think? There's a point where the punishment is too harsh for the crime and this is definitely the case. It's an abuse of power because I have no recourse. Where I would be absolutely willing to pay the price for a traffic violation, I greatly resent being robbed. I wonder what your thoughts are about this. Thank you for considering this e-mail. Best, Erica Aitken via email A: You can always go to traffic court to see if the judge will lower the fine, if not toss it out completely. Present your case, including time of day, weather conditions and whether it felt like you stopped. Were there cyclists and/or pedestrians around? Set the scene. Perhaps you did stop, just not before the trigger point for the camera, thus the camera flash. These are the things people tell the judge in an attempt to get their citations dismissed or lowered. She'll ask you questions and educate you, too, before rendering her decision. Good luck to you and let me know what happens.
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