Anderson Injury Lawyers | March 28, 2023 | Car Accidents
Traffic and red light cameras are becoming increasingly common in cities and towns across Texas. These cameras are often used to monitor intersections and highways and are designed to help enforce traffic laws, reduce accidents, and in some cases, provide evidence for personal injury claims.
Traffic Cameras 101
Traffic cameras are said to help enforce traffic laws and reduce accidents by capturing video and still images of vehicles as they pass through intersections or travel along highways, streets, and other roadways.
These devices are typically found mounted on poles or other structures and often use sensor-based technology to become active.
One of the main uses of traffic cameras is to capture traffic violations and infractions, such as:
- Running red lights
- Failing to stop at intersections
- Excess speeding
- Illegal turns
When a motorist violates the traffic code, these cameras capture images and video of the license plate and vehicle. This data is then processed and used to issue a ticket. However, if you become involved in a crash, you can petition the local jurisdiction to provide access to the camera footage for use in civil court.
Traffic and Red Light Camera Laws in Texas
Under Texas law, traffic cameras can only enforce traffic laws under certain conditions.
One of the essential requirements under Texas law is that traffic cameras must be clearly marked and visible to drivers. Signage must indicate that traffic cameras are in use and include information about the type of violation the camera is monitoring.
Texas law also requires a law enforcement officer to review and approve any citations or tickets issued based on traffic camera footage. This process helps ensure that the tickets are only issued when a violation has occurred and that the camera footage is accurate and reliable.
Additionally, drivers are protected under due process whenever camera footage results in a ticket. All Texas motorists have the legal right to contest the video charges in court. They can request a hearing and present evidence and arguments supporting their case.
Requesting Traffic Camera Footage Review
If you receive a traffic violation citation in Texas based on footage from a traffic camera, you may be able to view the camera footage. The process for requesting footage can vary depending on the specific need and jurisdiction.
As such, you may need to engage in the following steps:
- Contact the entity that issued the citation
- Submit a public information request
- Provide additional documentation under the Texas Public Information Act
- Attend a formal hearing to view the footage
Depending on the circumstances, the process for viewing traffic camera footage may be subject to restrictions or limitations under state law. For example, there may be limitations on using camera footage as evidence in court or restrictions on public access to the footage.
Additionally, reviewing camera footage may not be sufficient to challenge a citation, and you may need to present additional evidence or arguments in your defense. If you plan to use any traffic or stop light camera footage in court, you should consult a seasoned attorney who can determine the best way to proceed.
Traffic Camera Use in Texas
While state laws regulate the use of traffic cameras in Texas, there’s plenty of controversy surrounding these devices. Many critics across the state argue they’re intrusive and violate drivers’ privacy.
For now, it’s wise to be wary of their presence. While the footage from these cameras can be beneficial in a civil lawsuit against a negligent driver, they can also capture minor traffic violations and result in expensive citations.
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