Are Red-Light Cameras in Dallas Legal?
Have you ever been sorting through your mail when you discover a ticket because of a red-light camera? It happens frequently in Dallas and its surrounding cities, and it leaves many people wondering if you really must pay for one of these tickets. In addition, you might have several other questions about the process.
- Can they prove who was operating the car? After all, the photos don’t show the driver.
- Will I face criminal charges if I don’t pay the ticket?
- Are those cameras legal?
What Cities have Red-Light Cameras
Not every city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has installed Red Light cameras As they are up to each municipality to install and operate them. In the city of Dallas, there are 44 intersections with the camera’s installed. 25 Camera’s in Plano, University Park has 4 cameras installed and Fort Worth has over 30 intersections that have the red-light cameras installed
There are rumors running rampant about those red-light cameras with different people telling you that you absolutely must pay your ticket or others that say you aren’t required to pay it. Red-light traffic cameras are governed by the Texas Transportation Code’s Section 707. Certain ordinances are adopted by counties or municipalities to add to the Code or effect it. As of now, the state allows municipalities to use red-light cameras, but legislation that has been passed puts restrictions on what actions can be taken against those who don’t pay their tickets.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay My Dallas Red-Light Ticket?
When you receive a red-light camera ticket in Texas, it is considered a civil violation and not a conviction. The Code says any civil penalty for a red-light ticket cannot be any higher than $75 and that any penalty for the payment being late cannot exceed $25. If you don’t pay the red-light ticket, a warrant won’t be issued for your arrest and the ticket details won’t be sent to your insurer or add any points to your driving record.
The Texas Legislature put a stop to reporting unpaid red-light tickets to the credit bureaus in 2007, but the law had grandfathered in Dallas’ program that involved reporting delinquent tickets to Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. But the three major credit bureaus sent a notification to the city that they stopped including unpaid tickets on consumer credit reports.
If you don’t pay your red-light ticket, there will be no conviction, no warrant for your arrest, it won’t go on your driving record, it will not be reported to your auto insurance, and it will not be reported to the driver’s license bureau. But you aren’t off the hook just yet.
After an unpaid ticket has been turned over for collection, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles could be notified, and they can put a hold on your vehicle registration until any past due tickets and fees have been taken care of. The Tarrant County tax assessor-collector has stated on more than one occasion that he doesn’t support the scofflaw, and that he has no plans to enforce the law and block people from registering their vehicles because of past-due red-light camera tickets.
So, Do I Have to Pay My Dallas Red-Light Ticket?
To sum it up, red-light cameras are legal. If you don’t pay your ticket, it won’t affect your driving record, it won’t affect your credit report, and you can’t be arrested, but there is the risk of your vehicle registration being blocked. Whether you want to pay that ticket is up to you. Enforcing the hold is up to the tax assessor-collector, and if he or she doesn’t opt to enforce the law for delinquent tickets, you have nothing to worry about. If your registration does have a hold, you can pay the fine and register in person or by mail at the nearest office for a tax collector-assessor to have it overridden. You can now make an informed decision about your ticket since you have the basic details of what can happen.
You may also be within your legal rights to contest the red-light traffic ticket, which is why you may benefit from contacting an experienced traffic ticket attorney like those at Fears Nachawati. Our team has helped many Texans avoid having to pay fines and fees associated with traffic violations.
Don’t delay in reaching out to the experienced attorneys at Fears Nachawati for your free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.
To view a map of the installed camera’s in the Dallas area, go to https://www.photoenforced.com/dallas.html