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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    2

    Default Running a red light law

    I was charged with running a red light, but I'm 99% certain I crossed the line before well before the light turned red. In fact, I never even saw anything but yellow as I was under the light. My question is this:

    What is the law regarding running a red light? Do I just have to cross the line before the light turns red or do I have to be completely through the intersection before the light turns red?

    Any links to the letter of the law would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Disregard of Traffic Control Device

    Perhaps you were cited under this statute?
    Quote Quoting Georgia Code, section 40-6-24.
    When lane direction control signals are placed over the individual lanes of a street or road, vehicular traffic may travel in any lane over which a green signal is shown but shall not enter or travel in any lane over which a red signal is shown, provided that a vehicle may enter a lane over which a yellow or amber signal is shown for purposes of making a left turn only.

  3. #3

    Default

    Keep in mind that no matter what the law is, if it is your word against a cop's, the cop will get the credibility, unless you provide convincing evidence otherwise. Also, be aware that traffic courts are more about generating revenue than justice. If this ticket puts you in a jamb, like too many points on your license, you may be able to plea bargain it down, but the $ cost or fine and surcharges will go up.

  4. #4

    Default

    What statute does the ticket state you violated? I'm guessing it was
    40.6.21, subsection 3a:

    "(A) Traffic, except pedestrians, facing a steady CIRCULAR RED signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, before entering the intersection, and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of this paragraph; "

    There is no detailed explanation in the GA motor vehicle code as to what precisely constitutes a red-light violation, but I did find an answer to this from the city of Savannah traffic page FAQ regarding the use of cameras for stop light enforcement. I am assuming, of course, that the bylaws applicable to camera enforcement is consistent with enforcement by officers, and that Savannah traffic law is consistent with Georgia state law.

    From a red light camera FAQ:

    "What counts as a red light camera violation?
    A violation occurs when a car is behind the stop line when the light is red, then crosses the line into the intersection while the light is red. Vehicles already in the intersection when the light turns from yellow to red WILL NOT receive a citation."

    From this, you would not be give a red-light violation ticket, but I'm sure that they could give you a ticket for running a late yellow light.

  5. #5

    Default

    Also, it may be your word against the officer's, in which the officer would win, true, but if you can catch the officer off guard as to the actual regulations regarding a red-light violation, then you would be in a formidable position to have the charge dismissed, or at the least, reduced.

    I would ask the officer what exactly constitutes running a red light. If he gives an answer inconsistent with the law or statements made by jurisdictions representing the state, you may be able to remove the charge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default

    Aaron, I think the statute you cited is for "lane direction control", not intersection control. 40.6.21 is probably the correct one. By as was pointed out, it becomes a question of your word against the officer's.

    To have any chance, it would help if you had a witness -- even a relative. But, the best chance you have is to show that from the officer's vantage point, the position, the angle, the distance, etc., it is POSSIBLE that he might have misjudged the exact moment when your car entered the intersection. Basically, unless he was "on the line", saw the light turn red, then looked down and saw you crossing the line into the intersection, there's some chance he was in error.

    Good luck,
    Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    2

    Default Red Light

    Thanks everyone. I just needed to know the exact wordage for the law. The reason being the officer stated "Video available on request" on the ticket, so I needed to be able to state the letter of the law.

    So it sounds to me that as long as I crossed the line before it turned red that I'm in the right.

    I've been watching the Georgia website today, but it seems to be down, or flaky at best.

    http://www.georgia.gov/00/channel_ti...2_4975,00.html

    If anyone is able to find a link to the area I need, I'd love a link. I'm in Cherokee County, GA.

    Thanks again

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