If you’ve ever gotten a traffic ticket in the mail rather than actually getting pulled over for a moving violation while driving on the job, then you have experienced the CDL photo radar ticket.
These are also known as red light camera tickets, and they are being used by some states to snap a photo of drivers (both CDL and otherwise) who break traffic laws such as speeding, running a red light or stopping in a crosswalk. That photo is then mailed to the driver along with a traffic ticket that explains which traffic violations you’re being cited for and specifies the fine you have to pay.
Got a Photo Traffic Ticket? Here’s What to Do
The ticket you receive in the mail will include instructions on how to either pay your fine or dispute the citation — as well as what to do if the person driving the vehicle at the time of the traffic offense wasn’t you.
Generally, you’ll have the following three options for how to plead:
- Not guilty
- No contest (nolo contendre)
Pleading no contest or not guilty means that you just pay the ticket and put the experience behind you — being more careful in the future, of course. If, however, you decide to plead not guilty, you’ll most likely be required to appear in court. The citation you received in the mail will provide information on all your options.
Must You Pay a Photo Radar Ticket?
Photo radar tickets are somewhat controversial: Some people have argued that traffic citations are only valid when issued in person. But with laws varying by state, it’s better to be safe than sorry — and fighting a red light camera ticket may cause a bigger loss of time and money than just paying it in the first place.
What happens if you don’t pay your CDL red light camera ticket? Again, this varies from state to state, ranging from those states that do nothing about non-payment of photo radar tickets to those that issue warrants for the driver’s arrest. If you’re considering not paying a photo radar ticket, you might want to consult a traffic attorney first.
How to Pay a CDL Photo Traffic Citation
The citation itself will include payment instructions, and you can usually choose to pay your CDL photo traffic ticket online, by mail or over the phone. The ticket should also include a number to call with any questions you may have.
Just be sure to make note of any payment deadlines there may be on your ticket! Paying late may result in your fine being increased, possibly even being doubled.