Tips for Challenging the Lack of Clarity in a Red Light Camera Ticket Photo



Imagine you get a red light photo camera ticket that you feel is unjust. You know those images are not going to show you driving or running a red light. It is impossible.

You demand a trial, and prepare your defense. Among your possible defenses, you have decided that you will challenge the admissibility of the photographs or images which you expect the government to present in court against you. You also decide to challenge the ability of the images to identify the driver.

“No matter what that photo or video shows, I am going to challenge it!”

Your plan makes a lot of sense. After all, if the video or photo is not clear enough to identify a specific person, it should not be used to identify you and it should not be admissible, right? Why not.

Let’s go from there.


How can you challenge the clarity of the photo or video? One great approach is to ask a lot of questions. The photos and videos from red light camera often show a great deal of glare that prevents details of a driver from being discerned. And the cameras are taking photos of moving objects with a piece of glass between the driver and the camera lens cover. These conditions often make red light camera photos unclear in relation to the identity of the driver.

With well crafted questions, a defendant in a traffic ticket trial can highlight this problem and ask the court for a not guilty verdict or exclusion of the images from evidence on that basis.

Questions of whom? The officer. Yes, you can ask the officer questions in a traffic ticket trial. What questions? Try these samples, then create your own as you see the video and notice details that are not present in the images:

1. Officer, what color are the eyes of the driver in that image?

2. Officer, is that driver wearing any jewelry?

3. What color is the driver’s hair?

4. What is the driver wearing?

5. Is the driver wearing glasses?

6. Is the driver wearing a seat belt?

These sorts of questions should be used with prudence, because they can backfire. A well prepared defendant will think about this danger in advance.

For example, if the image is good quality, and you ask the officer “Is the driver wearing a seatbelt?”, the officer may zoom in and be able to show that detail in a high resolution image. Make sure you know what the answer to your question of the officer is before you ask it.

If during a traffic ticket trial on a red light photo camera you are able to highlight a few missing details, you can use that information in a few ways. This includes asking the judge to exclude the photos from evidence because they are not sufficiently clear to prove the identity of the driver, and asking the judge for a “not guilty” verdict.

Good luck. Questions? Stories? Leave a reply.

This entry was posted in Arguing in Court, Going to Court, Legal Motions, Moving Violations, Red Light Photo Tickets, Traffic Court Trials and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>