Gone are the days when you could run a red light and escape it. Red light cameras are everywhere. There are nine of them in Lakeland, Florida alone, not to mention all of the other cities in the Polk County area and every other county in the United States.
According to a study by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2.3 million reported intersection-related crashes resulted in more than 7,770 fatalities and approximately 733,000 injury crashes in 2008. Although there is much debate over the ethicality of red light cameras, they don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
These cameras have brought the cities that implement their revenue at the expense of drivers. The average ticket cost for running a red light is $125, which could go up to $225 for people who have been cited three times or more.
Traffic fees and fines not only bring revenue to the city, but it also takes money out of your pocket. Red Light tickets, as well as any other moving traffic violation, stay on your driving record for at least three years, directly affecting your automobile insurance policy premium.
These tickets can be fought in traffic court, but the outcomes often none favor the city, which means that you are stuck paying court fees and the ticket. The only way to avoid getting a violation of any kind is to obey all traffic signs, keep your speed within the limit posted, and by making it a habit to slow down when approaching an intersection so that you give yourself enough time to stop in the event the light turns red.
Don Westerfeld has been active in the field of Insurance and Financial Planning since 1997. Don grew up in Indiana later moving to Lakeland Florida where he continues to reside with his wife and children. When he’s not in the office you can find him enjoying the great outdoors. He has served on several charitable business and non-profit organizations and continues to provide guidance, advice and support to local charities.
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