According to a recent CBS4 news report, a lot of Denver residents have avoided paying their traffic tickets. Colorado, unlike some other states, still uses red light cameras on its roads. When a driver gets a traffic ticket because a traffic camera caught them running a red light, drivers apparently feel they have the freedom to avoid paying those fines compared to when they are pulled over by an officer.
CBS 4 reports that out of the estimated 6,000 red light citations dealt out in Denver alone, more than 40 percent of them have still not been paid for. The news report tries to urge those who have not paid their tickets to hurry to do so because the longer tickets go unpaid, the more expensive a fine becomes. Plus, the court can get involved if fines are withheld for too long.
The problem with such a request is that not all drivers who owe fines are avoiding paying their tickets out of greed or disrespect. Paying the normal $75 for a traffic violation is not as easy as it sounds to some Denver residents. These are tough economic times, and many people simply cannot pay their tickets. The fact that ticket costs increase with time and that the court could step in does not change the fact that certain offenders have no money to pay.
Also up for debate is the ethics behind the use of red light cameras. Some states have stopped using cameras because the effectiveness of the devices did not merit the cost of the law enforcement strategy. They became notorious in certain areas for not reducing the amount of traffic violations while taking money out of drivers' pockets.
CBS4: "Thousands of Unpaid Photo Red Light Tickets," Paul Day, 14 Oct. 2010