Payment of red light camera tickets is entirely optional in a number of states. A Tennessee lawmaker proved the point by burning his own automated citation on a live video while explaining the lack of consequences for nonpayment. In the Golden State, a handful of individual court systems, such as the Los Angeles County Superior Court, decided a decade ago not to prosecute non-payment. As collections dried up, the city of Los Angeles and 19 other jurisdictions within the county ended their photo enforcement programs.
Recent legal developments suggest motorists throughout California may now have the same freedom to discard automated citations without being penalized. The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) changed its policy and will no longer suspend driver’s licenses over failure to pay those $500 red light camera tickets that arrive in the mail.