Red Light Cameras and Cops

Would a cop at an intersection with a redlight camera be able to pull you over for running the light?

You are getting the ticket in the mail from the machine but the violation was in plain sight of the officer. If I was a cop I would feel odd just letting the person go, but if there were no other violations I could see other than that what other choice would I have? I would figure that would be double jeopordy if he gave you a real (in person) ticket for it.

I can’t imagine the cop would let you go just because you might have been caught on camera. The cop could give you a ticket, and if you get a photo ticket in the mail later, you could use a conviction on one as grounds to dismiss the other.

Well, I’m not sure if it’s a might. Every camera I have seen makes it pretty obvious when it goes off. The flash is super bright.

I see what you are saying though. Makes sense.

Unless there was a specific law in that jurisdiction or a specific department policy forbidding it, yes, the officer would have the legal authority to pull you over for the violation.

We don’t have red light cameras here, but if we did and I was in the OP’s scenario I would indeed pull the car over. Traffic stops are a top way of nabbing people with warrants, drunk drivers, possessing contraband, etc., all things that a mailed ticket from a machine can’t do.

Not only would the cop be able to do so legally (as others have explained), he would have a very definite incentive to do so.

Tickets issued by red-light cameras are processed by the company which installed the camera, and they keep a hefty share of the fine for the ticket. But if the cop issues the ticket, the city gets to keep all of the fine.

Given the financial state of many city & state governments currently, that can be a pretty big incentive.