Monday, July 30, 2012

Running Red Lights in the Capital Region

Now, more than ever before, it is important to know what a right light ticket may cost you in the Upstate NY region. At the bottom of this article, you will find the breakdown of what you are going to pay if fined for taking the risk of running a red light.

It seems that in Albany, NY lately, imparticular, we have been seeing an influx of traffic infraction tickets needing representation through our lawyers at Most currently, many of these have been red light runners, more so than, say a year or so ago.

This increase in a particular type of ticket that we see coming across our desk sometimes means that there is a crackdown by police to stop this particular offence form happening, and to let commuters know that our city “means business” when it comes to drivers ignoring something like traffic signal devices. It is possible that the surfacing of a video and a number of articles at The Times Union have prompted this change.

A prominent local businessman was recently trying to teach his four-year-old what the red light means to a driver, and found that many drivers were ignoring it altogether. He then found that in areas around Washington Park and around Lark Street, it was very very easy to shoot iphone videos of drivers who look at red lights as becoming as he says, “merely suggestions.”

If your red light ticket was written by an officer, it is considered a, “traffic infraction.” This generally means that a strike will go on your driving record with three points against your license, and it also means that you get “the gift that keeps giving,” as a raise your auto insurance bill. The actual dollar fine amount is calculated depending on where you were ticketed and whether it’s your first offense of not. Drivers ticketed in a city with a million or more inhabitants generally follow this scale:

$100-300 for the first offense
$200-$500 for the second offense in 18 months
$500-$1000 for the third offense in 18 months

However, if a driver is ticketed in a smaller populated area in New York State, they follow the fines according to this scale:

$50-100 for the first offense
$100-$200 for the second offense in 18 months
$250-$400 for the 3rd offense in 18 months

CAUGHT ON CAMERA - Just for the record, if you get a ticket from a red light camera somewhere in New York State, the infraction itself is treated somewhat differently because it is somewhat difficult for the prosecutor to actually prove who was driving. Therefore, a red light ticket issued from a camera is currently actually more like a parking ticket. As the registered owner of the car, you are responsible for the violation, but all you have to do is pay a fine of $50, plus any court costs and penalties. The ticket also doesn’t, at this time, appear on your driving record or cause your insurance rates to go up.

For more information on this topic, please visit

Martin A. Carbone, Esq., Carbone & Carbone LLP, Attorneys at Law

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