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Brooklyn Red Light Camera Tickets & Mechanical Failure Defenses

Fighting Brooklyn Red Light Camera Tickets for Mechanical Failures

Getting a red light camera ticket in the mail can be annoying and frustrating. You know you didn’t run the light on purpose, but how can you fight a camera? Well, it turns out there are a few solid defenses you can use to beat these pesky tickets in Brooklyn, especially if there was some kind of mechanical failure or issue with the traffic light itself.

Overview of Red Light Cameras in Brooklyn

Brooklyn has hundreds of intersections equipped with red light cameras. These cameras automatically take photos and video of vehicles entering intersections after the light has turned red. Tickets are then issued to the owner of the vehicle along with links to view the images/video online as “proof” of the violation.

The minimum fine for running a red light camera in Brooklyn is $50, but it can be higher depending on where in Brooklyn it occurred. Typically it’s around $100-150 per ticket. Points are also assessed against your license which can raise insurance rates. So it’s not a ticket you want to just pay without exploring your options!

Mechanical Failure Defenses

Under New York law, motorists can’t be found guilty of red light camera violations if there was a malfunction with the traffic signal itself. So if you can provide evidence that the traffic light or signal was defective, broken, not functioning properly etc., then you should be able to get the ticket dismissed.

Some common mechanical failure defenses include:

  • Yellow Light Timing Issues – Per NY law, yellow lights must be displayed for a minimum duration before turning red, depending on the speed limit. If the yellow light at an intersection is too short, it’s grounds for dismissal.
  • Obstructed Traffic Lights – If a traffic light is blocked by a tree branch, large vehicle, or anything else that obstructs it, tickets may be thrown out. You just need photographic proof.
  • Inconsistent All-Red Intervals – There should be a buffer interval where all lights at an intersection are red before cross traffic is allowed to proceed. Inconsistent all-red times can lead to tickets being dismissed.

So when you receive a red light camera ticket, look closely at the images/video for any signs of defects, obstructions, or timing issues. Things like tree branches covering lights, cracked lenses, and quick yellow light changes are exactly what you’re looking for.

According to this thread on Reddit, some Brooklyn residents have had success getting their red light camera tickets dismissed by showing screenshots from the video that highlight issues like these.

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2024-03-21
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The Mechanical Failure Defense Process

If you want to fight a red light camera ticket based on mechanical failure in Brooklyn, here is the basic process:

  1. Review Images/Video Carefully – Look for potential issues with traffic signals as discussed above. Document anything you find with screenshots/photos.
  2. Contest Ticket by Mail – There will be a “plead not guilty” option on your ticket. Select it and mail the ticket back per the instructions. This initiates the formal process to dispute it.
  3. Gather Evidence – Collect additional evidence beyond just the ticket images/video if possible. Things like repair records, DOT work orders, other photos of ongoing issues can help prove your case.
  4. Appear at Hearing – Traffic court hearings in Brooklyn take place at Red Hook Community Justice Center. Bring printed evidence plus any witnesses who can testify about signal issues.
  5. Present Your Case – Politely explain to the hearing examiner what mechanical defects you noticed in the images/video. Provide supplementary evidence if needed and answer any questions asked.

If you can convince the judge that a mechanical failure was present, rather than your own negligence, your ticket should be dismissed. Having photographic/video proof of any defects or obstructions is key, so review that evidence from your ticket closely.

Getting Help Fighting Red Light Camera Tickets

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when contesting Brooklyn red light camera tickets. Here are some good options if you need assistance:

  • Hire a Traffic Ticket Lawyer – Brooklyn traffic attorneys have experience navigating the bureaucracy and technical details of traffic court. They can advise your best defense strategy and handle communicating with the court. Fees are usually a few hundred dollars.
  • Consult the DMV Website – The NY DMV’s website has an entire section on red light camera tickets with advice on defenses that work. Spend some time browsing and learning here.
  • Check Online Forums – As mentioned earlier, sites like Reddit and Quora have threads where residents share red light camera ticket advice. Search around and see what defenses have been successful for other people.

The most important thing is acting fast if you receive one of these tickets in the mail. You only have a short window to contest it before fines and fees start accumulating. So start gathering your evidence and prepare your mechanical failure arguments as soon as possible.

With some persistence and the right evidence, you have a good chance of beating that unfair ticket! Traffic courts don’t necessarily like red light cameras either, so they may be sympathetic to technical issues with lights. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself – it pays off.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions on disputing Brooklyn red light tickets!

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