Red-light cameras have had a rollercoaster of a decade. Originally installed in several states as a way to stop people from running red lights, the cameras have come under fire for going after people legally making a right turn on a red light, people whose cars stopped a few inches over the line at the edge of the intersection, and so on. This led to the cameras being removed in some areas and suspended in others, but many regions have continued to use the cameras. Some of the suspended cameras have also been put back into use. There is a lot of advice out there on beating the tickets and even ignoring them, but don't do that until you talk to a lawyer. Ignoring the tickets could have some damaging consequences for you.

Source of Information

One issue is that you don't know who is really providing the advice to ignore or beat the ticket. Even if your direct source seems reputable, their source might not be reputable. It is tempting to do what your seemingly reputable source says to do just because it seems like a nicer way to handle what can be an expensive ticket. But if your source is not a legal service and misinterpreted something that the other source mentioned, you are the one who is going to have to deal with the aftermath.

Changes in the Law

Another risk is that laws can change, and the laws that made ignoring the ticket possible could no longer be in effect. For example, the Phoenix New Times reported in May 2016 that there were ways to ignore a red-light camera ticket and make it disappear out of the city's ticket system. But those loopholes could always change, and the changes wouldn't necessarily need a lot of time to be put into place.

Lasting Damage

Finally, if you miscalculate and ignore the ticket, you could face major consequences. For example, the city of Dallas used to report the tickets to the credit reporting bureaus, though that practice stopped in 2016. Other cities use your license and car registration as potential bait to get you to pay the ticket, such as suspending a registration until you pay.

Don't ignore these tickets, even if you think the ticket was issued in error. Contact a traffic lawyer skilled in handling tickets to find out what the current laws are and what the best way is to beat the ticket.