So what's the difference between a ticket from a cop or the red light camera?
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 23:50:00 GMT —
We've all done it...we see the light turning yellow and we step on the gas hoping to make it through before it turns red.
At a few select intersections, running a red light carries more than the chance of an accident... you also risk getting your picture taken and being fined for running the red.
Even though it's the same offense, it's not the same penalty. If an officer catches and tickets you. The first is a civil penalty, the other, criminal," according to Amarillo Police department Spokesperson Cpl. Jerry Neufeld.
"It is a civil penalty. Its not a criminal matter and there will never be a warrant issued for that red light camera ticket, if you don't choose to pay it, there are no repercussions as far as warrants being issued."
Some of the confusion may come from the city's website, because running red lights are listed on the warrant list, but those are ones issued by police.
"You run a red light out here on the street and an officer issues you a citation, absolutely there can be a warrant issued for you if you don't take care of it."
However, some people, like attorney Jeff Blackburn are dead set against them because he believes it has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with the color green instead of red.
"It is an automatic revenue generator and nothing more for the city..."
Blackburn says it's simply a money making gimmick for cities...but admits, when people call him about the ticket, he tells them there's little they can do.
"Look...it is a Mickey Mouse little runaround for everybody. The bottom line is you have to pay, there's no fighting it, you're not going to win, the deck is stacked against you and that's why they set this thing up. It is a racket, plain and simple."
But Neufeld adds the answer to avoiding any ticket is simple. Just don try to beat the camera.
City commissioners also had on their latest agenda an item to consider putting in more of these red light cameras around town... but have taken no action on that as of yet.