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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 04-24-2009, 01:53 AM   #1
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Red light camera

I'm going eastbound on Hastings and I was ticketed by a red light camera. I'm going to dispute this ticket because I know what I did was the right thing IMO. Tell me what you guys think.

- I was ticketed at Hastings & Sperling 2+ weeks ago.
- The sun was just setting down on the west side and the glare shone east bound.
- Approx. 40-50m from the intersection (Hastings & Sperling) I saw the light was green, so I did not brake.
- I scanned the intersection left to right. The left was clear. No oncoming traffic for miles away. To my right here was a white Dodge Ram van waiting for the light.
- As I am approaching the light the glare from the sun behind me shone on the traffic light and I was unable to see it the light change. I covered the brake.
- Not until about 3-4m from the white line was I able to see the light once again. It just turned red.
- With the brake still covered, I looked to my right to see the van still stationary.
- At that point if I were apply my brakes I would have stopped in the middle of the intersection.
- Therefore I carried the same speed through the intersection in attempt to clear away from it.

Other notes:
- The 2 photographs illustrate the intensity of the glare; half the street sign is barely visible and from the angle I was unable to see both lights, the 2 turning signs, and the street sign.
- I did not apply the brakes out of instinct. Oncoming traffic was clear, the van still stationary. If another driver was behind me and suffered the same loss of visibility, a rear-ender would have been imminent with such an abrupt stop.
- After seeing the red light I used that split second to decide my course of action by looking at highest risk object, the van.
- He was still stationary, so I did not apply the brakes. If I saw movement, I would be able to apply the brake and direct my vehicle onto the oncoming lane for a short distance to avoid a crash.
- I did not have time to look in my rear view, I used what time I had to decide what I thought was most safe.

What do you guys think? I was honestly not speeding, and I ALWAYS stop for reds. I just really feel this is unfair. If I intentionally sped and ran the red on purpose, I will admit it. I've been caught speeding red handed before like anyone else. But I'm being accused for what I thought was most safe.

Traffic lights and street signs are all reflective so we can see them better at night, but in this scenario it worked against me.

Notice the glare on the street sign. From my angle it was much worse than that of the camera's. I'm sure the camera has a coating or anti glare coating over the lens or glass plate as well so the flash it emits doesn't glare itself.


Clear intersection (except the the white ram on the right side you cannot see)
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Last edited by Noizz; 04-24-2009 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:12 AM   #2
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Clarification: Noizz was on his motorcycle.


You got the ticket already?
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impactX View Post
Clarification: Noizz was on his motorcycle.


Anyway, may be there's no real camera there.
I was in my car..... too cold to ride....
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:14 AM   #4
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You may have done all you could, and had right intentions, but technically you still drove through a red light.

If you dispute it, I can see the judge reducing your fine down to the minimum, but I can't see him throwing it out completely.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:15 AM   #5
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Anyway, may be there's no real camera there.
Uh... I think he already got the ticket with enclosed photos, which he posted links to.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by InvisibleSoul View Post
You may have done all you could, and had right intentions, but technically you still drove through a red light.

If you dispute it, I can see the judge reducing your fine down to the minimum, but I can't see him throwing it out completely.
The fine was $167. Is that the minimum? I want it thrown it, I don't think stopping dead centre of an intersection is the smartest thing to do.... at least no points or conviction and like half the fine would be good enough...
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:10 AM   #7
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the argument against you is that if the sun is glaring at you, and you can't see the light - you should have been driving slower. In the end, you still ran a red. i can see you arguing for a lower fine - but i don't think you can win if you dispute the charges.

as well, don't these red light camera fines carry no points? you might be better off just paying early to get the discount.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:52 AM   #8
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the argument against you is that if the sun is glaring at you, and you can't see the light - you should have been driving slower. In the end, you still ran a red. i can see you arguing for a lower fine - but i don't think you can win if you dispute the charges.

as well, don't these red light camera fines carry no points? you might be better off just paying early to get the discount.
I was driving the limit. I was able to see the light, but for the 20m when the sun lined up with my angle of sight with the traffic light I was unable to. I saw green -> scanned intersection -> looked up -> *SUNLIGHT* -> red.

Btw, just so we're clear, the sun was not in my face. "- The sun was just setting down on the west side and the glare shone east bound." It was behind me, the reflective yellow surface/glass of the traffic light was basically a mirror. If the sun was in front of me in my face then yes I'll admit its my fault. Why would you drive slower than the limit when the sun is behind you?

Clearly, only 1 person in this thread actually read the story accurately. I just read the ICBC site, and yes you don't get points for red light tickets. I guess I'm just disputing to reduce the fine now or hopefully get it thrown out.
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Last edited by Noizz; 04-24-2009 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:03 AM   #9
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You got the ticket already?
Yeppers
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:09 AM   #10
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You tell us you were not speeding and you were 50 m from the light and it was green. Going at 50 K ( the limit there ?) you would have covered the 50 m in 2 seconds. I don't believe that lights go from green to red in less than 2 seconds...they transition from green to yellow and most take about 4 seconds to do that. Your problem is that you just convicted yourself. The time over distance numbers say you were in the wrong. If you were driving at 50 and saw the light green 50 m from the intersection, you should have been 2 seconds past the red light camera when it went off...unless the yellow to red takes less than 2 seconds. Take a stop watch and time it before you plan any dispute. This is what they will be using against you.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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May I ask how you are calculating this data? With your comment in mind, I took the time to watch all the lights turn from green to red when I was driving to work today . All of the traffic lights I watched today turn from green to red in 3 seconds. On the 3rd second the red appears.

Here's my calculation:
50km/hr = 50,000m/hr
50,000m/60min = 833.33m/min
833.33m/60sec = 13.89m/sec
50m/13.89m = 3.59 seconds

So I had <.59 seconds to brake, at which point I was entering the intersection already. Normally like any driver, you can use your peripherals to notice that the green light has turned off, but I was unable to from the glare. I'm not going to spend my time looking at glare when time can be spent scanning the intersection in the meantime.

My hypothesis is that I must have seen the green just before it turned yellow, and once the it did this is how I used my time: 1st second: scanned the intersection. 2nd second: looked up to see the glare from the sun 3rd second: See the red appear. Too late, already entering intersection. 4th second onwards: assess that the van is still stationary, oncoming traffic still clear, possibility of cars behind me.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:03 AM   #12
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MY bad...wrong button on the calculator...50 k is about 15 m a second..you said 40-50m..so let's split the difference and say 45 m. That will be 3 second's driving time to the light...assuming you were going at 50k. If the light took exactly 3 seconds from green to red, going thru the yellow, then it would have turned red the instant you entered the intersection. They may say that a prudent driver should have slowed because they were blinded by the sunlight?
You would have to be able to prove that the light was invisible because of the sunlight on the light. This may be difficult unless you can present pictures taken by you at that very time their picture was taken. It would have to show the light was not visible...taking a picture after the incident should not be admitted as it does not accuratley show the circumstances at the time of the offence. I believe that the intersection cameras also record the speed of the vehicle . This may help you or go against you depending on what it shows. You may want to request disclosure of this if it is available. It should be an interesting court case. Good luck.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:01 PM   #13
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Yeah, the hard part is proving the sunlight glare. They already sent me my ticket and I have the 2 photos. If you look at photo one I posted, you can see that the street sign is covered with glare. The camera must have tint/anti-glare coating so the effect is already reduced somewhat. At my angle I seriously couldn't see the light change and it would be hard to prove that the angle I was at had significantly more glare. I'll try to use the photo to help depict the environment at the time. That is basically the best I can do at this point.

I understand that if there was glare I should be slowing down, due to the circumstances, I was only blinded for those 2 seconds it took the yellow to change. How do you predict a sudden flash of glare? If the sun was in front of me I admit I have no excuse. And instinctively, I knew my surroundings was safe and paid all my attention on the van on the right side to see movement and when to apply the brake. If the van moved I would of most definitely brake/maneuver. With the potential risk nullified I felt safe to proceed through the intersection.

I was also carrying a passenger that can vouch that there was a van waiting at the light on the right side. Would that be of any help you think? My passenger could not see the red either, because obviously they would be alerting me as I approached the intersection.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
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I'm not familiar with the actual intersection. If there were any other lights visible then thay may be a problem. I'm guessing that you're saying that the only lights visible were either obstructed by sunlight or blocked by the van? If they were, then that is something you should use.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
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The fine was $167. Is that the minimum? I want it thrown it, I don't think stopping dead centre of an intersection is the smartest thing to do.... at least no points or conviction and like half the fine would be good enough...
No, it's not the minimum... I don't think the fine amounts as given on tickets are ever the minimum.

I don't know what the minimum is for that violation, but maybe in the neighbourhood of $80?

I know I got a unnecessary noise violation ticket that was for $109, and the judge reduced it to $50 or so.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:48 PM   #16
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Speeding tickets etc have minimum fines..the others are open to Judicial discretion.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:27 PM   #17
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I'm not familiar with the actual intersection. If there were any other lights visible then thay may be a problem. I'm guessing that you're saying that the only lights visible were either obstructed by sunlight or blocked by the van? If they were, then that is something you should use.
Its just the lights were obstructed by the glaring sunlight. The van had nothing to do with it. It was just a risk because it was the only car waiting at the intersection on the right side, so I focused most of my attention on it to see if it would come into the intersection or not.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:13 PM   #18
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Were there any other traffic lights on the side? Because of the glare, when I drive I check for the light on the side right away if I can't see the one up top. Particularly useful if there's a big truck in front of you blocking the light. I believe most intersections have lights lower down on the sides, not just the main one that's suspended overhead.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #19
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Bring any witnesses, photos, diagrams etc that you think will help. The will testify after you do and will not hear your testimony. It's up to you to ask them the correct questions that will prove your point. They then will be cross-examined by the Crown Council who is prosecuting the ticket...and so will you.
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:23 AM   #20
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dont all intersections have another set of lights on the left? i think. should've been able to see it...
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #21
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Well if it does, it's not shown on the photo... one could easily claim that it wasn't working.

Not that you should lie about such a thing... I'm just saying...
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #22
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Were there any other traffic lights on the side? Because of the glare, when I drive I check for the light on the side right away if I can't see the one up top. Particularly useful if there's a big truck in front of you blocking the light. I believe most intersections have lights lower down on the sides, not just the main one that's suspended overhead.
Should be two, maybe even three overhead, plus one on each side. That's possibly five lights...
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:40 AM   #23
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Honestly, when I saw the sunlight, immediately I saw the red after. It would have been the same amount of time if my eyeballs redirected to see the lower lights, and I paid most of my attention to the van afterward so I did not notice the lower lights. Guess I'll drive by there later to check it out.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:58 PM   #24
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I was driving the limit. .
Wrong. The speed limit is the MAXIMUM you can drive in optimal conditions. Glaring sun = not optimal conditions, therefore you should have slowed down, and you would have had time to stop. You can tell the difference between a fresh green and a stale green I'm sure. If you know it's stale, then slow down and anticipate it changing before it becomes a problem
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:20 PM   #25
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I drove past there and checked... two lights overhead, plus one on the left side.
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