In most cases, spotting a police car as you're driving causes drastic changes. You rush to brake and slow down, joining the legions of other motorists who have also decreased their speed in the hopes they don't get pulled over. But today, being ticketed can happen even when police officers aren't on the scene.
Most believe cameras help
FindLaw.com recently conducted a survey focusing on what people think of red-light cameras
. These devices are typically found at intersections and can monitor moving violations, such as running red lights, without police present. According to the report, 56 percent of American drivers support the use of the cameras, while the remaining 44 percent oppose them. The majority believe that these devices are a good way of monitoring traffic and ticketing those who break the law. On the other end of the spectrum, the opposition mostly thinks that the cameras are just another way for cities to gain money from fines.
Not all states support the use of red-light cameras. New Jersey recently moved to discontinue the use of these devices, and more regions could follow suit. In the meantime, drivers should make sure they know the consequences of being noticed by these cameras.
"Traffic laws vary considerably by state and municipality, and that includes the consequences of receiving a traffic citation," said Stephanie Rahlfs, attorney-editor at FindLaw.com. "Every state has a different 'points' system that assigns different values to various traffic law violations. In addition, receiving a citation can often impact your auto insurance rates and renewals. It's prudent to always be aware of the traffic laws in the particular city and state where you are driving."
How to stay fine-free
Still, there are a number of states that will continue to use red-light cameras, and that means drivers need to be aware at all times. While it may seem easy to follow the rules of the road and obey traffic laws, sometimes the car you're driving could cause problems. If you've put off brake service
, for example, your vehicle may not be ready to slow down or stop completely during a sudden light change.
Investing in any necessary brake repair
is only the first step toward avoiding the fines and tickets related to red-light cameras. It also helps to have a clean windshield and working wipers, which allow you to better see the roads and intersections ahead.