Before you pay a red light ticket, make sure you know exactly what the penalties against you are. Not only do red light infractions carry a fine amount, but also will likely carry 3 demerit points and can increase your insurance rates. There are two types of red light infractions: red light ticket given by a police officer and red light camera tickets.
Red Light Infractions Given by a Police Officer
Red light infractions given by a police officer have both a fine amount to be paid along with 3 demerit points. When you receive a red light ticket from an officer you will have three options:
- Pleading guilty
- Pleading guilty with an explanation
- Trial / not guilty
If you pay a red light ticket you are automatically pleading guilty to the charge and will have to pay the fine along with receiving 3 demerit points on your record which will likely increase your insurance. A plea of guilt with an explanation is not a trial and your ticket will not be eliminated off of your record with this option. The trial option is the only way to fight for dismissal of the ticket or for a drastic reduction in the fine or demerit points.
Red Light Camera Tickets
Red light camera tickets are not given by a police officer, but are mailed to the owner of the vehicle. These tickets have a larger fine amount attached to them, but no demerit points. Since the red light camera does not know who is driving the car and does not provide driver’s licence information, demerit points and a conviction against a specific person is not possible. The owner of the car is responsible for paying the fine, but the ticket will not appear on their driver’s record nor will they receive any demerit points for the offence. There is no point in fighting a red light camera ticket in court since it does not register on your record. However, the fine does need to be paid since the owner of the car may have their permit validation refused or may be refused a new permit if the fine is outstanding.