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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default How to Dispute a Notice of Infraction from a Photo Enforced Ticket

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: WA

    I received a notice of infraction for one of the cars I own in my name. The location is Bellevue WA. I am 100% sure that I was not driving the car. I was at the dealership getting my other car serviced and I have the paperwork from that dealership.

    I plan to submit declaration of non-responsibility in form of written statement to the court.

    However looking at: http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52696 and some other posts looks like prosecution and judges have been using some under-handed techniques to avoid car owners from using “declaration of non-responsibility”

    My questions:
    1. Is there any law or amendment that forces car owners to name the driver. I saw there was 2011 amendment to RCW 46.63.075 that requires rental companies to disclose the driver info see: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/bil.../5540-S.SL.pdf
    2. If I refuse to share the driver info can I be charged for “not cooperating with law enforcement”
    3. There is a high probability that my wife was the driver but I am not 100% sure to say that under oath, I have 3 other adults in my household that live with me. Can court subpoena all of them to get their statements?
    4. To what extent am I expected to share my household situation and car usage pattern for this car
    5. I am not sure if cameras pictured the driver’s face (my notice does not have it). If they did, will I be asked to identify the driver?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,203

    Default Re: Wa Photo Enforcement - Notice of Infraction

    There is no requirement in Washington State for the registered owner to identify the driver. Period. Is your wife on the registration? If so, you probably cannot use the defense if she was driving.

    Quote Quoting RCW 46.63.075
    (1) In a traffic infraction case involving an infraction detected through the use of a photo enforcement system under RCW 46.63.160, or detected through the use of an automated traffic safety camera under RCW 46.63.170, proof that the particular vehicle described in the notice of traffic infraction was in violation of any such provision of RCW 46.63.160 or 46.63.170, together with proof that the person named in the notice of traffic infraction was at the time of the violation the registered owner of the vehicle, constitutes in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person in control of the vehicle at the point where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred.

    (2) This presumption may be overcome only if the registered owner states, under oath, in a written statement to the court or in testimony before the court that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody, or control of some person other than the registered owner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Wa Photo Enforcement - Notice of Infraction

    My wife is not the owner on the title.
    I also found the following in RCW

    RCW 46.63.170 (1)(d)

    (d) Automated traffic safety cameras may only take pictures of the vehicle and vehicle license plate and only while an infraction is occurring. The picture must not reveal the face of the driver or of passengers in the vehicle.

    I will go with DECLARATION OF NON-RESPONSIBILITY under RCW 46.63.075, I will find out what judge says.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Wa Photo Enforcement - Notice of Infraction

    For some reason the OP -- checkm8 -- was unable to post back to this thread. In a PM to me he said the following:

    Quote Quoting checkm8
    Finally I had my day in the court for this photo infraction. It was very informal proceeding. There was no prosecutor or the officer who reviewed the video to issue the citation.
    Judge addressed about 20+ people in court, all for the same violation. She explained the laws , mentioned that she has received this ticket as well. She requested that if people would like to make a statement regarding legitimacy of these cameras they should do that in city hall not in her court.
    City citation amount was $124, she reduced it to $75 for everyone. She informed everyone of the provision under RCW 46.63.075 where by an owner can submit declaration of non-responsibility. She strongly advised against providing a false declaration just to avoid ticket as there could be bigger implications - $75 is not worth it (I completely agree).
    Most cities have printed Declaration of Non-responsibility forms. These forms ask for driver’s name, in case owner was not driving the car. Providing driver’s name is not required by any law – at least in WA.

    Person ahead of me provided the statement that he wasn’t driving but his wife was driving. The judge closes her ear and says I don’t want to hear who was driving. I did have a proof that I was not at the wheels of the car but judge didn’t want to see it. Just my statement was sufficient. The case was dismissed.
    Looking at other similar cases it seems judges have a lot of discretionary power in implementing these laws. One that many judges would exercise – If judge believes that owner’s Declaration of Non-responsibility is false they can refuse to admit it. That’s the only thing that would explain why some people were asked to prove that they weren’t driving the car.

    For people in WA – familiarize yourself with RCW 46.63.170 and RCW 46.63.075 and hold your ground. Good luck!
    OP, thanks for letting us know -- and going the extra mile to make sure it got posted.

    Barry

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