Auto Insurance Rate and Red-Light Camera Tickets

By Jay White

June 7, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

In mid-2015, the New York Times published a story about Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a young politician who is a rising star of the Grand Old Party and a presidential candidate hopeful. The NY Times article indicated that a 10-year search for traffic citations issued to Senator Rubio and his wife in Miami came up to a combined total of 17 traffic tickets, including one red-light camera ticket that a skilled attorney was able to dismiss for the young Senator.

Responding to the article, Senator Rubio stated his dislike for red-light cameras, calling them “a big scam.” Senator Rubio is hardly alone in this sentiment; many drivers bristle at the thought of this automated traffic monitoring devices, which are the main topic of heated arguments at city council meetings and state legislatures across the country.

Statistics on the use of these devices indicate that, unlike Senator Rubio, most drivers who receive a red-light camera ticket in the mail choose to pay the fine, which essentially amounts to an admission of guilt. In many states, running a red light is a traffic infraction similar to driving more than 10 miles over the speed limit. In other words, there is a great possibility that one of these tickets may result in an increase of car insurance premium. Moreover, a red-light camera infraction may also add negative points to a driving record in some states.

Whether a red-light camera ticket is reported to auto insurance companies is up to each jurisdiction. In this sense, the state of New York seems to be the most progressive since it chooses to treat these traffic violations as “no points” events that should not be reported to insurance companies. Critics of red-light cameras in the Empire State consider this leniency to be an egregious admission that the devices are set up for the sole purpose of increasing revenues at the municipal, county and state levels.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, studies of red-light cameras indicate that the number of traffic violations has actually decreased with their use in a couple of metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the Institute also argues that these devices also help to reduce crashes. However, a 2014 red-light camera scandal in Missouri ended up with a city councilman going to jail after he refused to handle the infraction, which resulted in an investigation that showed the city of St. Louis generating $4 million in revenue from these cameras in a one-year period.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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