Common Questions About Red Light Camera Tickets

March 10th, 2021 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses

In 2019, Texas lawmakers passed a bill that barred cities from using red light cameras to issue tickets to drivers in the state. Some cities, however, have been permitted to continue using their cameras, but only until their existing contracts have expired. This exception to the law that banned red light cameras in Texas has resulted in some confusion regarding the rights of drivers when they receive tickets through a photographic traffic signal enforcement system, so if you recently received notice of a red light ticket, you should consider speaking with an experienced Houston traffic violations attorney about your options. 

Will a Red Light Ticket Show Up on My Driving Record?

As a result of the passage of the new red light camera law in 2019, red light camera tickets no longer show up on a person’s driving record. Law enforcement agencies are also prohibited from issuing arrest warrants for unpaid tickets. 

What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Ticket?

Just because these kinds of tickets don’t go on a motorist’s driving record, does not mean that there are no consequences for letting a ticket go unpaid. For instance, all unpaid red light camera fines, when left unpaid for an extended period of time, are sent to a debt collection agency, which can then start seeking repayment from the driver. 

Can I be Barred from Renewing My Vehicle Registration?

Drivers who fail to pay their traffic tickets could end up being barred from renewing their vehicle’s registration if they attempt to do so online through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Those who actually go into the county assessor-collector’s office, however, may be able to avoid this, as whether or not to enforce this law is up to individual counties. 

Can an Unpaid Red Light Camera Ticket Affect My Credit?

State law prohibits the reporting of unpaid red light camera tickets to credit bureaus. There is, however, an exception for cities that had red light camera contracts prior to 2007. In these cases, cities may still be allowed to report an unpaid fine to the credit bureau. 

What if My City Already Terminated the Red Light Camera Program?

Many cities in Texas immediately voted to end their red light camera programs soon after the state law passed in 2019. This does not, however, mean that a driver is necessarily off the hook for a ticket received while the program was still operating. 

Do I Have Any Other Options?

Paying a ticket is often the easiest way to deal with this kind of citation, especially because doing so doesn’t result in the accrual of points on a driver’s record. It is possible, however, to contest these tickets, although those who do so should not assume that the process will be simpler because a police officer didn’t issue the ticket in person.

Houston Traffic Violations Lawyers

If you recently received notice of a red light camera citation and want to dispute the ticket, please call The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates at 281-280-0100 to speak with an experienced Houston traffic violations attorney about your options.

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