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The Chatham, New York, Area

Do you have to pay a ticket issued by a speed camera?

You may have heard, among other rumors, that you do not have to pay a speeding ticket fine if it was a speed camera that detected and cited the violation. The theory behind this rumor is that because an actual officer was not present at the time of the incident, the camera’s recording is “hearsay.”

In New York, this is not the case. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, drivers will receive consequences — in addition to the ticket fee — if they let a camera ticket go unpaid.

The consequences of failing to pay a camera speeding ticket

If you receive a Notice of Liability, which is what the state of New York calls a traffic violation, you have 30 days to respond. If you fail to respond within that time, your ticket will accrue late penalties and interest, and it will continue to do so until you either respond to the NOL or attempt to dispute it. In addition to assessing more fees, the state may also issue an order to have your vehicle towed, booted or even seized. Undoing each of these consequences can prove more costly than had you just paid the ticket in the first place.

What to do if another person received a speed camera violation in your car

Camera tickets are not perfect, and one of their drawbacks is that they cannot properly identify who is behind the wheel when a speeding violation occurs. This causes many New Yorkers — yourself likely included— to feel indignant upon receiving a ticket someone else garnered. Unfortunately, per state law, vehicle owners are responsible for paying any speed camera violations issued to their vehicles. The only exception to this is if your vehicle was stolen, in which case you must provide a police report when presenting your case.