Dear PoPville – Red Light Camera ticket for Motorcade question

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

Dear PoPville,

My husband was driving into the District on February 03, 2012 and came in off 395 where it turns into 14th Street. At the string of lights on 14th Street near the Holocaust Museum, a cop was directing cars through the lights in order to accomodate a motorcade. The red light camera was going off repeatedly, but given the traffic circumstances and the police activity, there was really nothing for him to do except proceed through the light. And now, about 8 weeks later, we have the $300 ticket to prove it. I know others have written in inquiring about how to argue against invalid parking tickets.

My question is similar, but I want to know: is there any way to request a list of dates and times when motorcades were stalling or interrupting traffic, or is there a list of dates and times when cops have intercepted regular driving/traffic patterns for other city accommodations? Any suggestions on how to argue this would also be helpful!

23 Comment

  • Sounds like an excellent question to ask MPD.

    • This is an easy one. The red light camera’s are not cameras, rather the are video. If you go in person and contest (which i have done and was clowned by) they will show you a video of your violation. You should just contest it and use the video of the chaos that you described as your defense.

      • @DCDAVE Red light cameras are just that ,cameras. I worked for the company and was trained in Scottsdale Az. Now there are some intersections with live video that is recorded as well as camera photos that is sent by the internet to Arizona. The video is kept on servers for 30 days while the pictures are sent to (Classified) for processing( in other words sent to you with a fine)

  • You can appeal the ticket by writing. I would just copy and paste your first paragraph mail it in and they should remove the fee. You can also appeal in person if you feel like wasting half a day. I would do it by mail shouldn’t be a problem.

    • “shouldn’t be a problem”
      I wonder how many epic, months long, soul destroying battles with the DC DMV have begun with that statement!!

      • I meant to add that a few years ago I fought a ticket I received for parking in a rush hour zone on New Year’s Day! It took 11 months to finally get the ticket dismissed, but took years off my life.

        • You might be right.

          I appealed an expired registration ticket by writing last year. I typed out my explanation and tried to be as nice as possible in my description. A week or so later I got a note in the mail that said my appeal had been received. Maybe 3 months later I got a note that said it was dismissed. It was a slow but relatively painless experience for me.

  • ah

    Ideally, they’ll get dozens of appeals from all the people waved through the red, and realize you’re not lying.

    Oh, wait, this is MPD and revenue for the district.

  • I thought those camera tickets had a different (almost non-existent appeals process). Unlike regular tickets where you just mail in your defense, with a camera ticket you can not protest it unless you have a police report saying your vehicle was stolen when the ticket was issued.

    • The stolen car defense is one option to get it dismissed. You can also get a notarized statement that you weren’t driving and give the info of the person driving. Also, if you show up to a hearing, the government has the burden of proof. The appeals administrator goes through the law and the pictures, etc. In my case, I was sent a ticket for a certain plate but the pictures were basically unreadable (it wasn’t my car). When going through the burden of proof, the administrator tried to read the plate off the picture and just dismissed it as the government did not “prove” it was my car. I didn’t even have to say anything or provide documentation that it was not my car.

    • you people are all crazy. as it says on the back of the ticket, if you want to contest it, you just need to write in and explain what happened and it will go away. painless.

  • If you had a cell phone you probablly should have whipped it out and start recording the cop waving you through.

  • I have a related question: I have out of state tags and feel like there is no way that I haven’t received a ticket yet but I haven’t received anything in the mail where the plates are registered. Is it possible that I have a bunch of speeding/red light tickets piled up somewhere? Or have I just been that lucky?

  • Email Lisa Sutter at MPD. She handles the camera enforcements. It is odd you got a ticket. They check those several times over before issuing them, but it looks like this went through. Have you looked at your online video to confirm this is the motorcade situation? Also, red light tickets are $150, not $300.

  • Officer direction is one of the exemptions in the legislation for red light cameras, along with funerals. The person who got these tickets should adjudicate them. – MPD Press

  • K – I believe the husband was driving the car.

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