If you were stopped for running a red light in Philadelphia, you will most likely be issued a citation and will need to pay the fine in court. Fines in Philly depend on where you were stopped. This can cost anywhere from $75 to $200+. In some cases, drivers do not know that they have run a red light. They usually get their ticket in the mail with a photo of them running the light. When this happens, there can be ways to fight the ticket.
One of the ways to get the ticket dropped is to check the date it was mailed to you. In Philadelphia, they have to mail you the ticket within 30 days of the violation. If you received it after this time, fight the ticket because the law says the ticket is no good.
If they mailed it to you within the allowable amount of time, you can still fight it in court. So it’s best to ask the following questions in court. The answers need to be a yes to all the questions for the ticket to be valid:
- Was the ticket issued after the first 60 days of the camera’s operation?
- Was the ticket issued by a Philadelphia Police Officer with primary jurisdiction over that area?
- Is there a clear warning sign of the camera posted before the intersection, and if so, was it installed at least 60 days prior to when the violation occurred?
- Is the yellow light at that intersection timed in accordance with the speed limit?
If the answer is all yes then you have one last option. In Philly the law states that:
“It shall be a defense … that the person named in the notice of the violation was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation … The [city] may not require the owner of the vehicle to disclose the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation.”
This means that if you were not the one driving the vehicle, you are not required by law to name the person operating the vehicle. This is a valid defense because many cameras only photograph the vehicle and not the driver or passenger inside. In other words there is no evidence that you or the person you loaned the vehicle to ran a red light.