You Don’t Need to Be Stopped by a Police Officer to Be Charged with Running a Red Light

Perhaps because they aren't far removed from living with their parents, many teen and juvenile drivers in the state of Virginia feel that, if no one is watching, they can get away with a “minor” traffic offense like running a red light. There's a big flaw in this logic, though. In recent years, Virginia authorities have installed video cameras at numerous intersections around the state. When you run a red light, these cameras snap a picture of your vehicle, along with your license plate—and it's only a matter of time before you receive a ticket via the mail. Of course, these cameras can also identify other traffic violations, both major and minor, ranging from illegal passing to a fatal hit-and-run.

The technology doesn't exist yet for the Virginia authorities to install video cameras at every single intersection in the state—only the busiest ones where the most accidents occur. If you're curious, you can find a list of monitored intersections here.

One way in which being ticketed for speeding via a video camera is better than being cited for speeding by a police officer—especially if you're a juvenile driver—is that a police officer is much more likely to cite you for reckless driving, a misdemeanor violation that involves stiff fines and six points added to your driving record. If you have been mailed a ticket, your fines likely won't exceed $100, but you'll still have points added to your record. Questions? Call the experienced traffic attorneys at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman today!

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