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Red Light Camera Refund: Woman Finds Typo That Invalidates Millions Of Dollars In Fines

Red Light Camera Refund: Woman Finds Typo That Invalidates Millions Of Dollars In Fines

A woman ticketed for running a red light with a camera got her fine dismissed after doing some digging and finding a newspaper typo from seven years ago.

The discovery by Bay Area woman Keisha Dunleavy may mean thousands of others could have their fines dismissed as well, leading to millions of dollars worth of refunds.

Dunleavy was caught on a red light camera running through a light in Newark, California. But she did some digging, going all the way back to 2006 to find the original public announcement about the camera’s installation.

It read, “a camera has been installed at the intersection of Cedar Boulevard and Mowry Avenue to capture vehicles that run the red light as they travel east on both streets.” But as Dunleavy argued to a court commissioner, Cedar Boulevard runs north and south. Because a proper legal notice needed to be given to the public, the judge decided to dismiss her ticket.

“I had a great judge. I did a lot of legwork. I’m really happy with the outcome,” said Dunlevy.

Some are now arguing that Newark finding invalidates other red light camera tickets as well, an estimated $4 million to $5 million in collective fines.

Dunleavy’s bold court move comes amid a growing backlash against red light cameras. This month, Iowa City city council voted to repeal an ordinance that allowed red light cameras. The bill would also disallow the use of cameras that record vehicles or license plate numbers.

The red light ban in Iowa City was proposed by StopBigBrother.org, a civil rights organization that advocates for an end to what it terms “traffic surveillance.”

Keisha Dunleavy isn’t the only one to get tickets from a red light camera dismissed. Last year officials in New Jersey determined that red light cameras weren’t calibrated properly and were giving hundreds of unwarranted tickets.

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2 Responses to “Red Light Camera Refund: Woman Finds Typo That Invalidates Millions Of Dollars In Fines”

  1. Anonymous

    Here is info for motorists who live in California or Arizona, or might visit.

    Motorists need to know about Snitch Tickets, the fake/phishing camera tickets sent out by California and Arizona police to bluff registered owners into ID'ing the actual driver of the car. In some cities the fakes are more than half of everything the city mails out. Snitch Tickets have not been filed with the court, so they don’t say “Notice to Appear,” don’t have the court’s address and phone # on them, and usually say, on the back (in small letters), “Do not contact the court about this notice” or "Courtesy Notice – This is not a ticket." Since they have not been filed with the court, they have zero legal weight. You can, and should, ignore a Snitch Ticket. Skeptical? Google: Snitch Ticket.

    Been to the LA area? A REAL red light camera ticket from ANY city in Los Angeles County can be ignored, as the LA courts do not report ignored camera tickets to the DMV. This was revealed in multiple LA Times articles in July 2011. Skeptical? Google: Red light camera voluntary.

    Pass this info around. If you take the time to educate your friends about these things, you may find that suddenly you are eating better. A lot of people will be buying you lunch after they realize that you have just saved them from paying a $500 ticket.