How to Defend Red Light Camera Tickets


By Ray Patel

SUGAR LAND: It is very important for the residents of Sugar Land and visitors from outside the City limit to know the locations where the Red Light Cameras have been installed by the camera company. When revenue goes down the camera company installs cameras at another location.

At present the cameras are installed at the following four locations, Highway 6 and Lexington, Highway 6 and US59, West Airport and Eldridge and, Dairy Ashford and 90A.

 The first thing is not to get a citation; so make sure that you make a full stop before the white line, especially when making a right turn at the four intersections. Over 70% of citations are issued while making right turns. Between January 2013 and March 2013 a total of 6,918 citations were issued and the city has collected $374,586.  Over 50% of those citations ( 3,528 ) were issued at West Airport and Eldridge alone.

If citation is received, the language on the citation notice is worth understanding to make a decision either to pay or not to pay $75.00 fine.  So let me point out what to understand. All citation notices are mailed by the camera company in Tempe, AZ in the name of Sugar Land Police Department three weeks after each violation. Look carefully on the front side  of your notice, it is high lighted, and it says:

 1.  This violation is a non-moving Infraction (a civil penalty and not a criminal) and

2.  Points will not be  assessed – meaning it will not be recorded on your driving record.

Further, look on the back side of your citation notice; it says:

1.  Failure to pay may result in a hold placed on your vehicle registration.  Here I suggest that you do not register your vehicle on line or at grocery stores.  Do it in person because, as per our research, The Fort Bend County Tax Office does not have an agreement with the City of Sugar Land to deny vehicle registrations with scofflaws (the one who failed to pay fine)

2. The civil penalty may not be recorded on the owner’s driving record and

3. An arrest warrant may not be issued

Now based on this knowledge, let us say you do not pay your fine…. then what?

In a few weeks you will receive:

 1. Notice of unpaid ticket ($100.00) – now $25 added to your  $75.00 fine; and then?

2. A Delinquent Notice of Violation – (a  mere scare tactic to collect fine) notifying you that your ticket will be turned over to collection agency for collection), and then?

3. Final Notice of Unpaid Ticket – all printing in red ink… a mere scare tactic to collect the fine amount. It is not feasible, cost-wise, for the city attorney to file a lawsuit to collect $75.00.

You are pretty much able to get away without paying your fine/s.  About 40% of ticketed drivers got away without paying Red Light Camera (RLC) fines in Los Angeles, California, which is why they dumped the camera system altogether. Reduction in revenue makes RLC system unproductive because, by signed contract, Sugar Land is obligated to pay the camera company and to share revenue with the State of Texas.

If you receive letters from the Collection Agency for collection of your fine amount, you may disregard or force them to stop. My sincere hope that you know your rights.