Red Light Cameras, Speeding Cameras, and Car Insurance Rates

Getting a ticket from a speed or red light camera will cost you. In many states, these photo tickets won’t be added to your driving record. But will they cause your car insurance rates to go up?

red light camera

Receiving a letter in the mail that says a camera caught you speeding or running a red light can be a real blow.

Not only do you have to pay a fine for the traffic offense, but you might have to pay more for car insurance because of it, too.

Plus, the infraction may go on your driving record or result in points being added to your driver’s license.

You’ll learn about when, why, and how photo tickets impact your car insurance rates and driving record here. You’ll also learn about:

  • Whether speeding and red light camera tickets go on your driving record or lead to points on your license
  • How getting a ticket from a red light or speeding camera differs from getting a ticket for being pulled over for speeding or running a red light
  • How you can fight red light or speed camera tickets

Do Red Light Camera Tickets Affect Your Insurance? Do Speeding Camera Tickets Affect Your Insurance?

In most states, red light and speeding camera tickets will not raise your insurance rates. The IIHS says “automated enforcement citations are generally civil or administrative violations that do not result in points and are not made part of the driver’s record.”

You’re only going to see your insurance rates go up from a camera ticket if it puts points on your license or if it’s added to your driving record. But that only happens in three states:

  • In Arizona, drivers get two points for red light camera violations and three points for speeding camera violations.
  • California gives drivers one point for red light camera infractions.
  • In Oregon, a red light camera ticket is considered a Class B traffic violation.

What about other states? Ten states currently don’t have red light or speeding cameras. And the states that do have these cameras classify the infractions as non-moving violations, meaning no insurance raises. Some states even explicitly forbid insurers from using camera tickets to raise rates:

So, if you get a red light or speeding camera ticket, your insurance rates won’t increase unless you live in Arizona, California, or Oregon. And if your rates do spike in the wake of a red light camera or speed camera ticket? Start shopping around and comparing quotes. Another insurer may not penalize you in the same way for getting one of these citations.

Are Tickets from Speed or Red Light Cameras Moving or Non-Moving Violations?

Most states treat camera tickets like non-moving violations. That means they put them on the same level as parking tickets, or tickets you get for an expired registration or a broken tail light.

A few states, however, treat photo tickets like moving violations. That means they put them on the same level as a ticket you’d get after being pulled over for going through a traffic signal or going over the speed limit. Fortunately, this is only the case in three states – Oregon, Arizona, and California.

If you live in a state that considers red light or speed camera tickets to be non-moving violations, you’re in luck. Getting one of these camera tickets won’t result in driver’s license points or an infraction on your driving record. That means your auto insurance rates won’t go up.

If you live in a state that treats photo-enforcement tickets like moving violations, though, you might deal with points, a mark on your driving record, and insurance increases.

How to Fight Citations from Red Light or Speeding Cameras

Yes, you can fight these citations.

That doesn’t mean doing so is worth your while. For example, if you’re pretty sure a ticket won’t affect your car insurance rates, you might be better off just paying the fine.

Want to fight your photo ticket anyway? Here’s some advice:

Make sure there’s proof

Get the photo or video footage that shows you ran a red light or drove over the speed limit. Then make sure it clearly shows you, your car, and your license plate. If it doesn’t, you have a case for dismissing the charges.

Speak up if you broke the law for a reason

It’s not usual for someone to go through a red light or go over the speed limit for a good reason. Maybe you did it to avoid an accident, or to get out of the way of an ambulance, fire truck, or police car. Or maybe you had an emergency yourself. If any of those are true for you, let the judge know.

Are Points Added to Your Driver’s License After You Get a Photo Ticket?

It depends on how your state handles these camera tickets. If it considers them moving violations (only three states do), you’ll probably get driver’s license points. If it considers them non-moving violations, you shouldn’t get points.

If you’re pulled over by a cop and ticketed for running a red light or speeding, it’s a moving violation. All states consider those offenses to be moving violations and penalize you for them by adding points to your driver’s license and record.

To learn more about this topic, read our article, “How Driver's License Points Affect Your Car Insurance Rates.”

Do Photo-Enforcement Camera Tickets Go on Your Driving Record?

These tickets can go on your driving record, but that doesn’t mean they will. In fact, they often won’t.

That’s because most states treat photo tickets as non-moving violations. Non-moving violations (parking tickets, for example) don’t go on your driving record. Neither do camera citations.

If your state (Oregon, California, and Arizona) treats photo tickets as moving violations, though, they might go on your driving record. And in that case, they’ll stay on your record for three to 10 years, depending on the severity.

How States Handle Red Light or Speed Camera Tickets

Twenty-four states plus the District of Columbia currently have photo-enforcement cameras in place in at least one location, according to IIHS.

Here’s how they penalize drivers who are caught on camera speeding or running red lights:

Alabama

Red Light Camera Penalties: Minimum fine of $60 to $110, depending on location. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Minimum fine of $60 to $100, depending on location. Not added to driving record.

Arizona

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $250. Up to two points added to driver’s license.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $250. Up to two points added to driver’s license.

California

Red Light Camera Penalties: Minimum fine of $100 plus one driver’s license point.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

Colorado

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $75. Not added to driving record. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $40. Not added to driving record. No driver’s license points.

Delaware

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $110. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

District of Columbia

Red Light Camera Penalties: $150 fine. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Fine is tied to speed. No driver’s license points.

Florida

Red Light Camera Penalties:$158 fine. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties:Not applicable.

Georgia

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $70. Not added to driving record. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: $75 fine for first offense. $125 fine for second and subsequent offenses.

Illinois

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $100. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Fine is tied to speed. Not added to driving record.

Iowa

Red Light Camera Penalties: Fine of $65 to $110, depending on location. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Fine of $5 to $500, depending on location and speed. Not added to driving record.

Louisiana

Red Light Camera Penalties: Fine of $100 to $125, depending on location. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Fine depends on location and speed. Not added to driving record.

Maryland

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $100. Not added to driving record. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $40. Not added to driving record. No driver’s license points.

Missouri

Red Light Camera Penalties: Fine and points depend on location.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: $100 fine in most locations, up to $200 in others.

New Mexico

Red Light Camera Penalties: Fine of $66 to $100, depending on location.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: $100 fine.

New York

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $50. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $50. Not added to driving record.

North Carolina

Red Light Camera Penalties: Fine of $50 to $100, depending on location. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

Ohio

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $150. No driver’s license points.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

Oregon

Red Light Camera Penalties: Class B traffic violation. Maximum fine of $1,000.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Considered a traffic violation. Fine is tied to speed.

Pennsylvania

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $100. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Warning for first offense. $75 fine for second offense. $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses.

Rhode Island

Red Light Camera Penalties: $85 fine. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: $50 for first and second offenses. $95 fine for third and subsequent offenses. Not added to driving record.

Tennessee

Red Light Camera Penalties: $50 fine. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: $50 fine.

Texas

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $75. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

Utah

Red Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: No driver’s license points.

Virginia

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $50. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Not applicable.

Washington

Red Light Camera Penalties: Maximum fine of $250. Not added to driving record.

Speed Light Camera Penalties: Fine can’t be more than the fine for a parking violation in the same location. Not added to driving record.


For more on state laws about photo-enforcement cameras, go to ghsa.org or traffic.findlaw.com.

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