Running a Red Light in New York | VTL 1110a & VTL 1111(d)-1

Running a red light in New York is not only dangerous, but it is also quite costly. There are two ways to get caught running a red light: 1) being personally pulled over by a police officer and 2) being caught on a red light camera and having the ticket sent in the mail to you. It is vital to know the fundamental differences between both of these and the penalties associated with them.

When Police Pull You Over for Running a Red Light in NY

Running a red light in New York is consistently ranked the number one most commonly ticketed offense in the state. When you are caught running a red light, a police officer can issue you a ticket either for violating VTL 1110a (i.e. failing to obey a traffic control device) or VTL 1111(d)-1 (i.e. passed red light). It is a known fact that these tickets bring in a lot of revenue to the state, and, unfortunately, many people do not fight them. Do not be one of these people!  Make sure to contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney who can help you avoid the negative consequences of a conviction for VTL 1110a and/or VTL 1111(d)-1.

VTL 1110a

A person who is convicted of failing to obey a traffic control device (i.e. running a red light in NY) can face the following penalties:

  • Fine of up to $150
  • Surcharge of $80-$85
  • 2 Points on Your License
  • Up to 15 Days in Jail

Although it is exceptionally rare for a person to go to jail for running a red light, if the circumstances are extremely dangerous, New York law allows for it. Not only that, many individuals caught running a red light are charged with Reckless Driving (a crime).  Imagine shelling out $235 for the fine and surcharge, getting 2 points on your license, having your car insurance premium skyrocket, and possibly serving time in jail. Do not let this scenario happen to you. Be prepared and hire a New York traffic ticket attorney to fight your red light ticket.

VTL 1111(d)-1

Aside from failing to obey a traffic control device, you might be issued a ticket for violating VTL 1111(d)-1.  The penalty you face depends on whether you were within a city containing over one million people or not.

If you ran a red light outside of a city of one million people or more and were charged with VTL 1111(d)-1, you can face the following penalties:

  • Fine of up to $225
  • Surcharge of $80-$85
  • 3 Points on Your License
  • Up to 15 Days in Jail

However, if you ran a red light within a city of one million people or more and were charged with VTL 1111(d)-1, you can face the following penalties:

  • Fine of up to $450
  • Surcharge of $80-$85
  • 3 Points on Your License
  • Up to 15 Days in Jail

Moreover, it is not uncommon for a driver to be issued one ticket for violating VTL 1111(d)-1 and another for VTL 1110a. After all, the police officer can argue that your conduct fell within both statutory categories.

Red Light Camera Tickets

Getting a red light camera ticket is quite different than being pulled over in-person by a police officer.  Although red light cameras are currently legal, it is exceptionally difficult to prove from the picture and video alone that you in fact were the driver. Moreover, red light cameras present constitutional problems when it comes to your right to confront your accuser. After all, how can your attorney cross-examine a red light camera?!

Due to this—along with mounting pressure to rule that red light cameras violate the Sixth Amendment (see United States Supreme Court case Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts)—the penalties associated with them are much lower.

Currently, if you receive a red light camera ticket in NY, you face a fine of $50 and it is a 0 point ticket. The State of New York intentionally keeps the penalty low because they know just how legally problematic this type of ticket is. Consequently, they expect a driver to simply pay the $50 instead of challenge it.  Doing this is a big mistake and only justifies this legally questionable practice. Remember, if you receive a red light camera ticket in NY, the printouts that will be presented as evidence against you are considered “testimonial” (see the Supreme Court case noted above.) That means you have a right to cross-examine your accuser. However, since this is a literal impossibility, you can make an oral motion to have the case dismissed. Although this defense usually works, it is not full-proof.

In case you get a difficult judge, the following reasons will usually be sufficient to get your red light camera ticket dismissed (as long as you can back them up with evidence):

  • The photograph or video does not clearly show that it was your vehicle
  • You were in the middle of a medical emergency
  • Your vehicle was having mechanical difficulties
  • Someone stole your vehicle or that it was not you in the car

Remember, these defenses will not work for a regular red light traffic ticket. They only work for red light camera tickets.

Who Should You Contact?

If you were recently pulled over for running a red light in New York and were issued a ticket for failing to obey a traffic control device (VTL 1110a), contact The Rosenblum Law Firm. Our team of traffic ticket attorneys has a successful track record of fighting these types of cases and getting our clients the results they want. Call us today at 888-883-5529.