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Driver forced to pay for evidence in his Chesapeake red-light camera case

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Chesapeake, Va. - Larry Richway says he was not the one driving his car, but he still got slapped with a $50 ticket after his Dodge Magnum was caught by a red-light camera at the corner of Greenbrier Parkway and Kempsville Road in Chesapeake.

“I didn’t have the car for three days while they were working on it,” said Richway, who says it was a dealership who had the car, looking into a possible engine problem.

Richway assumes they were out test driving it at the time, to make sure everything was fixed.

“They have no picture of me driving the car, and I have no clue who was driving the car,” said Richway.

Yet now, the burden is on him to prove it in court.

The City of Chesapeake only drops tickets before court in three specific cases.

“If you are not the driver, the paperwork says you have to be transferring the title, renting or leasing the car, or it was stolen,” said Richway. “None of those is what happened!”

At first, Richway was prepared to take his case in front of a judge, but that is before he got a bill from the City of Chesapeake.

$147, for what he considers to be evidence in his case--like any other existing pictures of who might be in the driver’s seat, and any maintenance records for the camera.

“They are saying its legal, but I don’t know how it can be,” said Richway.

According to the City of Chesapeake, Richway's red-light camera case will be in General District Court, where there are no rules for discovery.

If a judge rules against him there, he can appeal the case to Circuit Court, which allows for discovery, and the evidence will be available for free.

For right now, they are considering it a Freedom of Information Act request...which they are allowed to bill for.

“It seems to me they are only doing it for the money, and doesn’t seem right,” said Richway.

8 comments

  • marty Bohm

    there was a story a while back about red light cameras and if they cannot prove that you were driving the car they cannot give you a ticket please look into this for everyone’s sake because red light cameras are not illegal but there are loopholes around them if you are not driving the car he does not have to pay this ticket at all

  • don

    Go to court if judge rules against you than go to circuit court and if the ruling is in your favor. Than take dealership to small claims court with pic of driver from circuit court.

  • Stephen Donaldson

    Charging to prove your innocence is but one way RLC town (and industry) use to DENY DUE PROCESS in courts.

    Others attempt to deny even appeals like this example out of TX. http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/29/2942.asp

    Quote: “Texas cities allow no meaningful appeal of red light camera tickets. College Station fudges accident data in voter brochure.”

    Read more on the RLC scam:

    http://www.motorists.org
    http://www.banthecams.org
    camerafraud on Facebook

  • James Walker

    Anyone who still thinks red light cameras are about safety is terminally naïve. MONEY is the goal – first, last and always.

    Red light cameras need to be banned by law in every state to stop the predatory abuses for money.

  • smart guy

    This is easy. Take the paperwork from the dealership into court showing they had care, custody and control of the vehicle. Case dismissed. No need for camera maintenance records.

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