Traffic cameras, are installed on roadways to monitor and record traffic patterns and behaviors. They have become a common sight on highways, intersections, and other high-traffic areas around the world. The history of traffic cameras can be traced back to the early 20th century, but their widespread use did not occur until much later.
Traffic Cameras Through History.
The first known traffic camera was installed in 1929 in the city of New York. The camera was a primitive device that used film to capture images of traffic accidents. The film had to be manually developed and printed, making the process time-consuming and expensive.
By the 1960s, technology began to improve, and electronic traffic cameras were developed. These cameras used electronic sensors to detect and capture images of vehicles, making the process of recording and analyzing traffic patterns much easier and more efficient. This also allowed these cameras be used for real-time monitoring of traffic, which enabled officials to make decisions about traffic flow and safety in real-time.
During the 1970s and 1980s, traffic cameras became commonplace around the world. In the United States, the Federal Highway Administration provided funding to cities and states to install traffic cameras as part of its Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. These cameras were used to monitor traffic patterns and provide real-time information to drivers through electronic message signs
The use of cameras continued to through the 1990s and early 2000s, as technology continued to improve. In addition to monitoring traffic patterns, traffic cameras began to be used for other purposes, such as detecting speeders. Many cities and states also began to use traffic cameras to issue tickets to drivers who violated traffic laws based upon traffic camera footage which created massive city revenue.
Traffic Cameras in Present day Pennsylvania
Between 2018-2019, Pennsylvania generated $260 Million in fines and citations making traffic tickets a cash cow for the state with almost 900 fixed cameras in place excluding mobile speed traps and red-light cameras.
If you have recieved a traffic violation that has been caught on camera you should look at hiring a traffic lawyer rather than attempting to defend yourself. Here are some of the main reasons:
- A traffic lawyer will have expertise and experience in dealing with traffic violations and related legal matters. Have a deep understanding of traffic laws and regulations, as well as the court procedures and strategies involved in defending against traffic violations. Your chances of beating a ticket significantly improve.
- A lawyer may be able to negotiate with the court for reduced penalties, such as reduced fines or points on your license, they even have the charges dropped altogether. Depending on the violation, a lawyer may be able to arrange for you to simply attend traffic school or perform community service in lieu of fines or points.
- Defending yourself in traffic court can be time-consuming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal system or the procedures involved. Save yourself time and effort. Your lawyer can handle all the legal paperwork, court appearances, and negotiations on your behalf.
- A lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process, ensure that all legal procedures are followed and that the evidence against you is properly assessed.
How can a lawyer help with a violation that was caught on camera?
- Challenge Evidence Validity: The accuracy of the camera footage and calibration of the equipment used. They may also challenge the admissibility of the evidence ensuring legal procedures were followed when obtaining the footage.
- Identifying technicalities: Your lawyer may attempt to identify technicalities such as mistakes made by the police officer who issued the citation or errors in the paperwork, inconsistencies in the evidence or technical violations of the law.
- Plea bargain: In some cases, your Attorney may attempt to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution in exchange for a reduced charge. This could involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge or in exchange for having the charges dropped or reduced.
- Challenge the legality of the camera: Depending on the state and local laws governing traffic cameras, your lawyer may attempt to challenge the legality of the camera itself. If, for example, a camera was installed in violation of local ordinances.
- Challenge the accuracy: If the camera used to record your violation has accuracy issues, your lawyer may attempt to use this to your advantage. The camera may be unreliable and its footage should not be used against you in court.
Overall, hiring a traffic ticket lawyer to appear in court on your behalf can be a wise decision, especially if you are facing serious charges or have a poor driving record.