Moving Violation: Running a Red Light

Running a Red Light worth it?

As we all know, New Yorkers are always on the go and sometimes get carried away with living life in the fast lane. This is especially true when we’re behind the wheel and approaching a traffic light. We’ve all witnessed it or even done it ourselves: a driver before reaching an intersection puts the pedal to the metal on a yellow traffic light and inevitably blows a red light. Running a red light is one of the most common moving violations in the city because of this. Every New York minute is precious but is our need for speed really worth the possible moving violation for running a red light or worse?

Penalties for Running a Red Light

The penalty for running a red light depends on whether or not you were caught by one of NYC’s many red light cameras or stopped in traffic by an officer. If you are caught running a red light by an officer, this offense is considered a traffic infraction and 3 points will be added to your license in addition to a fine you will receive. Fines are determined by the number of red light violations on your record:

  • $100-300 for the first offense
  • $200-$500 for the second offense in 18 months
  • $500-$1000 for the third offense in 18 months

You may also be subject to an increase in your car insurance premiums as insurance companies consider drivers with many red light infractions more likely to get into a car accident.

Getting  caught on candid camera by one of the 200+ red light cameras found around the city is treated a little differently than getting stopped by an officer in traffic. A red light violation from a camera is treated almost like a parking ticket instead of a traffic infraction because it is more difficult for the city to prove who was actually driving. Still, the registered owner of the car is held responsible for the moving violation even if the owner wants the one running a red light and must pay a fine of $50 (plus $4 processing fee if you pay with a credit card). Unlike a traffic infraction, points will not be added to your licenses and the violation will not be reported to your car insurance company and cause an increase in your insurance premiums. However, if the registered owner fails to pay off the ticket, a default conviction with a $25 late fee will be imposed and the owner’s registration may eventually be placed on hold. So take a breather New Yorkers, running a red light may not be worth it and in the end can cost you more time and money!