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Red Light- Stop Signs – Do You Come To A Stop?
You might think that rushing through a red light just as it turns red, or not stopping at a stop sign if you think the road ahead is clear, are minor issues, but the state of Texas thinks otherwise. Until 2019 you could be ticketed for running a red light in two different scenarios – a traffic officer witnessing you running the red light or a red light camera catching the violation.
However, in June 2019, new laws went into effect prohibiting the use of red-light cameras, otherwise known as photographic traffic signals. The ban included an exception for just a few cities. The exception, known as a grandfather clause, would allow cities with current contracts with private camera companies to finish those contracts before turning their cameras off for good. The only four cities in Texas that are still operating the red light cameras are Balcones Heights, Leon Valley, Humble, and Amarillo.
Red light tickets can also be given out by a police officer who sees you going through a red light. This ticket will be given to you personally, whether you were the owner or not. If you run a red light in the state of Texas and are stopped by a police officer, then you will likely have to pay a fine. The amount you will have to pay depends on where you were stopped. The fines usually range from $150 to $250. The infraction is also considered a criminal offense and a moving violation will be added to your driving record and could cause your insurance rates to increase.
Stop Sign Violations
It’s easy to do. All it takes is to cruise up to an intersection or pedestrian crossing where there is a stop sign and you take the risk and don’t stop. There’s nothing there or so you think. Then you get landed with a stop sign violation ticket. These are like red light tickets and attract the same sort of penalties.
Moving Traffic Violations are Accumulative
You won’t lose your license for a single red light ticket or stop sign violation directly. However, any driver who commits four moving violations in a 12-month period, or seven moving violations in a 24-month period will have their license suspended immediately.
Should you Use an Attorney? Losing your license could be a worse inconvenience than paying a fine, so you should think carefully before you send in a guilty plea and pay the money when you receive either of these two tickets. Although many people’s first thought is that it might be cheaper to pay a fine than pay an attorney’s fee, this might not be the case if you lose your license. It all depends on whether you need your vehicle for your job, or even to get to a job. Even if the violation has left you short of the four moving violations needed for a license suspension, it will put you close enough to get one next time you get a ticket. The other point to think about is whether your ticket has any effect on your next insurance installment. You can find this out from your insurance company. When you add up the fine, the increased insurance premium, and the possibility of a license suspension, it makes an attorney’s fee a lot more attractive proposition. By pleading not guilty, it puts pressure on the prosecution to find you guilty. With any luck, the police officer who issued you the ticket might not come to the court appearance, or with the help of a traffic violation attorney, you can plea bargain your charge down to a lesser offense and not pick up another moving violation or pay a smaller fine.