BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Police in Boynton Beach say many people don't understand how to pay the fine for running a red light and end up paying more than they need to.
The department posted a how-to video on its Facebook page Friday to help drivers figure out what to do when they receive a notice of violation.
When a red light camera catches your car running a red light, you get a notice of the violation in the mail with a $158 fine.
The offender has 60 days to pay the fine or schedule a hearing with a city magistrate to argue the violation.
However, if the magistrate finds you guilty, you pay a $243 fine, $85 more than paying right away.
The city's traffic sergeant says many people don't realize they can watch video footage of their alleged violation online, so they try to argue their case with the magistrate. But the magistrate reviews the footage and oftentimes it's a clear violation.
Sgt. Phillip Hawkins says many people wish they had watched the video before going to the magistrate. That way they could have seen the violation, saved themselves $85 and the time it takes to sit in a hearing.
The magistrate can overrule a violation, so it's possible you don't have to pay anything.
The city uses red light cameras at seven intersections. When a camera records your car running a red light, the video is sent to the department.
One of two community service officers reviews the footage.
If they determine you ran the red light, they have the system send you a notice of violation in the mail.
The notice of violation includes a link to a website where you can look at pictures and watch video of your alleged violation. You can also pay your fine on the website.
The city sees about 120 red light violations every day, according to a community service officer.
If you don't pay the fine, or schedule a hearing with the city magistrate in 60 days, it turns into a $264 ticket, or uniformed traffic citation from the county, which includes three points on your driving record.
You can argue that ticket, but it would go before a county judge, not a city magistrate.
The city has cameras at the following intersections:
- Northwest 8th Street and West Boynton Beach Boulevard (southbound)
- Boynton Beach Boulevard and North Seacrest Boulevard (eastbound)
- South Federal Highway and Southeast 23rd Avenue (northbound & southbound)
- East Gateway Boulevard and North Congress Avenue (northbound, southbound, eastbound & westbound)
- West Boynton Beach Boulevard/Northwest Second Avenue and North Congress Avenue (northbound & eastbound)
- West Woolbright Road and South Congress Avenue (northbound, southbound, eastbound & westbound)
- West Woolbright Road and Southwest 8th Street/Corporate Drive (eastbound)