Should I bother contesting this ticket?

I was told that you should always contest tickets, because most of the time the officer that wrote the ticket will be too busy to show up, and the ticket will then be automatically dismissed. And even if the cop does show up, the court will usually do lesser charges just for showing up, for some reason. That could be strictly a Colorado thing, though, as our traffic laws can be a bit unusual. (For instance, in Colorado, as long as you break the plane of the intersection before the light turns red, you have not run a red light, whereas in most other states if you are in the intersection at all when the light is red, you have run the red light.)

IMO, quite a lot of the “red-light camera” tickets are bogus. They are counting on people not wanting to risk getting points on their licence and therefore just coughing up the money. We got one in Boulder when we knew we had entered the intersection before the light turned red (therefore completely legal in Colorado.) We didn’t pay it, and no one ever showed up to give us a “real” ticket, like the camera ticket threatened. We were prepared to go to court and contest it… but they dropped it before it even came to that. It’s basically an extortion scheme for the cities that put them up. They seem to drop the tickets for anyone who takes the time to fight them so it doesn’t call attention to how bogus most of the camera tickets are.

I recently got a speeding ticket in Washington state (where I live) for 65 in a 55. I was not able to make the court date because I was going out of town on business. So I called the court and found they have a mail-in option. So I opted to contest the ticket, via mail-in, and sent in the form they sent me with my explanation of why the officer was wrong (My cruise control was set to 60, and I know my vehicle actual speed is at least 3 MPH lower than radar speeds, another faster vehicle in front of me was said to be doing 61, according to the officer, never mind they were in front of me and still pulling away.)

The response was, you’re still guilty. That was that. Nothing I said had any relevance apparently. So the cop can say anything he wants, and I have no recourse. It really is a scam by law enforcement all over the country. Cops can break the traffic laws left and right when not in active pursuit, and they have to answer to no one. But, as in the OPs case, they break the law in order to get YOU to break the law, that is entrapment, plain and simple.

Here in Louisiana we found a lawyer who’ll take your speeding ticket and, for normally a $100 fee, go to court and plead it down to a non-moving violation. Papa Tiger, for example, got a ticket for going 30 in a 20 zone – which we thought was a 25 zone, but they’d hidden a speed limit 20 sign on a post at least 15 feet above the ground behind a tree and were set up with an incredibly busy speed trap. The attorney pled it down to a “no seatbelt” violation, which kept it off our insurance. We paid him $100, he paid the court about $25 so they got something for their troubles, and the attorney kept the rest as his fee, and everyone was happy.

So that might be an option in your jurisdiction. Best way is to see if you can find a lawyer who handles the small traffic cases – it’s not the booming business here like it used to be in Texas, but they’re findable if you look in the right places.