3/23/2007Tennessee: Red Light Camera Ticket Goes to Man Who Stopped
Red light camera vendor issues photo tickets even when police agree a car stopped at the light.
A red light camera in Knoxville, Tennessee issued a ticket to the owner of a vehicle that stopped and never entered an intersection on red. Garett Bagwell's car approached the intersection of West Summit Hill Drive and Henley Street on February 6. Because of the short yellow, Bagwell had to slam on the brakes, coming to a rest over the stop bar but well behind the marked crosswalk.
"I saw the light, I slammed my brakes on," Bagwell told WVLT-TV. "I approximately stopped slightly over the white line."
Knoxville police did review the video before the ticket was issued. A police log showing a dozen tickets canceled for fellow police officers also listed a dozen motorists whose tickets should have been canceled because they safely stopped. Redflex, the Australian vendor that operates the camera program in return for a cut of the profits, issued the ticket to Bagwell -- and possibly others -- anyway.
Motorists who receive inaccurate tickets are forced to take off an entire day of work to fight a citation worth $50. Many, like Bagwell, find paying the fine to be the lesser of two evils. After Bagwell brought his case to WVLT, however, Knoxville police agreed to refund his money.