We hear a lot of questions about the Radar Traffic Enforcement systems popping up all over Tucson, so we scoured the internet and even spoke with a TPD Officer, and we’ve got answers for you.
The Tucson Photo Traffic systems can cite drivers for speeding 10 miles over the posted speed limit, or 5 in a school zone (3 points against your license and a fine ranging from $151-$366 depending on how fast and where you were driving), and for passing the “lateral prolongation of the curb line” (yes, the infamous “WAIT” line) of an intersection during a red light (2 points and a $280 fine). Extra fines may be added if those drivers are also found not to be wearing a seat belt ($48) or have current vehicle registration at the time ($600 or $123 if you get it registered before the court date). Not coming to a complete stop, stopping within the crosswalk itself or not yielding to pedestrians prior to turning right may also yield a citation.
You may choose to respond to the initial notification by appearing in court, paying the fine, requesting a hearing or enrolling in NTSI Defensive Driving School, but at that point you still have the right to be personally served. You’ll see in very small letters that by signing this ticket you’re “waiving your right to be served.” This is because the US Postal Service is no longer a governmental agency and putting something in the mail is not legally acceptable proof it’s been delivered. If the first court date passes, a process server will be notified and if he serves you, you will have to pay the service fee- usually around $30. Once you’ve been served, you are required to respond by the new court date or will be subject to a potentially severe default judgment that could include fines and even the suspension of your license.
In Arizona you’re eligible to dismiss a ticket with traffic school only once in two years–with court fees it ends up costing almost as much as the ticket would have, but is potentially a better option since the points on your record could (but not always) spur significant insurance rate increases lasting between 3-5 years.
If you’re worried about what the points on your record will do to your rates, and your vehicle is a 1996 or newer, give us a call– you may qualify for one of the incident forgiveness or discount insurance programs available through our agency.