Skip to comments.Red-Light Camera: I've Been Ticketed (Legal Help Needed)
Posted on 01/02/2002 8:15:10 PM PST by Darth Sidious
Well, this should be an interesting thread, for the irony if nothing else
About five months ago, on August 7th, a couple of your friendly neighborhood Freepers namely, Rebelbase and yours truly stood at the intersection of Battleground Avenue and Pisgah Church Road in Greensboro, NC, and protested the red-light cameras that have gone up all over the city. Itd take up too much time to go into the details of our Freep, and the full story is on the After-Action Report thread. But for a quick recap: for over four hours under the hot August sun, we told motorists to Smile: Youre On KOMRADE KAMERA. We literally got hundreds of honks and thumbs-ups of support. Our friends in law enforcement said they supported us in our efforts against the red-light cameras. It was a lot of fun, and we met a lot of good people during our time at the intersection.
Well folks, that was Round One. Now comes the far more serious Round Two.
A few weeks ago I was driving down the same stretch of road, heading into Greensboro on some business. It was raining, there had been some fog but otherwise visibility was good.
As I approached the same intersection of Battleground Ave. and Pisgah Church Road, the light turned yellow. I began to slow down but saw the guy behind me not stopping, then putting on brakes and skidding on the rain-saturated asphalt. Now, I saw the light just turn red just as my car got to the line at the intersection. But if I came to a sudden stop, I would almost certainly have been rear-ended to the best of my judgment.
To make a long story short, I got caught by the camera. And I'm counting no less than 3, possibly 4 violations of the U.S. Constitution on the citation in front of me.
I could pay the $50 fine, and it would be a neat and tidy affair. I could also never tell my children, with any sincerity, about how much we believed these cameras were wrong, so much so that we braved 100-degree heat against them. And if I rolled over now, and let this go on, what kind of incremental damage would I be doing to my children's freedoms? The same freedoms that our forefathers paid a far greater price for, that we might enjoy these liberties?
God gave the stewardship of those liberties to we the people. Not to the state, not to any government, but to us. Folks, you will not believe how much I've seethed the past week or so at reading this citation, how much disregard that enough of the wrong kind of people have for the Constitution.
I could pay the fine, and be comfortable. Or I could contest, and justify my actions, that they avoided serious damage to my vehicle and more importantly, to myself. And quite frankly... my conscience simply cannot allow me to pay this fine. My heart is compelled with no other choice, but to fight. And to fight with every whit of my being.
There is a federal lawsuit against the city of High Point, NC, for their red-light cameras. That doesn't encompass Greensboro, however. And to the best of my ability there are no lawsuits against Greensboro regarding them. I'm ready, willing and able to go the distance, to pledge not to be worn down, to be persistent as all get out, however long it takes to prove what you and me already know: that the red-light cameras are a gross violation of the United States Constitution. I want... no, have to fight this... but I can't do it alone.
At this point, it has been advised that I post this to FreeRepublic.com's general forum, to fill everyone in on what's taken place, at the circumstances now before us and what we can make of it to contest the red-light cameras. And to ask for any advice and counsel that Free Republic's "legal eagles" might offer. Because when it comes to anything like filing a lawsuit, I'm a babe in the woods. I've the passion, just not the knowledge or experience. But I wanna give this all I can.
Fight it, Darth.
It might help to take a weather report with you!
I was the one driving the car. Said car being in my Mom's name, and the citation came to her!
What was that again about there being witnesses to testify against the defendant...?
Seriously though, I see a dozen red light runners a day here, it's a real epidemic. But the last time I ran a red was for exactly the same reason - to avoid being rear-ended. I didn't get caught. Good luck!
I don't know about North Carolina but it might be worth checking out. If state law does govern, take a video camera and tape several cycles with a stop watch either visible or at least present. Use a tripod; you don't want to be accused of "distorting" on purpose.
Here is a link for red light camera information
However, the codes rarely make mention of the yellow light nor do they define "the intersection". His argument was that if so much as one wheel of your vehicle is over the white line, you are technically "in the intersection".
Suggest you have state vehicle code in hand, photos of the intersection, timings on the lights with and without spycams and perhaps witnesses or other people who have received tickets at the same intersection testify for you.
Odds are the judge won't want to go to such lengths for a $50 hit to your wallet, when your case could create an argument to throw out other such cases.
Live to fight another day with the $50 in your jeans. Good luck and God Speed! (Whoops, I mean Good luck and God go the speed limit).
This citation holds to nothing of the sort. You are "guilty" according to the machine. Pay your fine or appeal with an imposed handicap on your testimony. I'm not kidding.
That always gets them.
As far as the merits of the case are concerned, you should count your blessings. If it had been a cop instead of a camera, you wouldn't be able to float that BS story about trying to avoid an accident. Maybe throw in something about having a heart attack victim in the car on the way to the hospital. Carte Blache, guy! Good luck
As far as the merits of the case are concerned, you should count your blessings. If it had been a cop instead of a camera, you wouldn't be able to float that BS story about trying to avoid an accident. Maybe throw in something about having a heart attack victim in the car on the way to the hospital. Carte blanche, guy! Good luck
ps- it's a PDF file, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat. Read it.
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