| News |

Injustice! I get a mail-in ticket for not running a red light

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

What is it with me and red lights lately?

In the November 17 blog "No Justification for Denver Police Ticket Trap Near DCPA on Saturday Night," I wrote about a traffic ticket set-up at the intersection of Glenarm and Colfax, where three traffic officers lined up to snare people who turned right on red at a spot where the sign forbidding this is virtually impossible to see in the dark. I grudgingly paid that fine, even though I recognized it as a scam. Then, yesterday, I received a notice in the mail fining me "$75 for "DISOBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC SIGNAL -- RED LIGHT" eight days earlier at 6th and Lincoln. Only problem: I didn't break any laws -- and the city's own video and photographs (like the one above) prove it.

On that Sunday morning, I was heading to the office in my primo 1994 Geo Prizm to pick something up at the office that I'd forgotten to grab during the week. As I approached 6th and Lincoln, the light started to change, and while I initially thought I could make it through in time, I realized otherwise at the last minute and hit my brakes pretty hard -- hard enough to trigger a blinding flash from cameras set up at the intersection. However, I didn't run the light -- a contention confirmed by the photos sent to me with the ticket, as well as a video on the PhotoNotice.com website accessible using a code provided along with the paperwork. The footage shows clearly that I came to a complete stop alongside two other cars in the intersection.

So why the holy hell did I get this ticket? I can only speculate that the triggering mechanism on the camera isn't accurate enough to differentiate between cars that go through the red light and those that stop short but do so suddenly. Whatever the case, I now have to take a "Not Guilty Plea" form to the Denver County Court, Traffic Division, to schedule a "Final Hearing date."

You can bet I'll update my quest for justice here. After all, if I'm going to get a ticket for going through a red light, I'd at least like to experience the pleasure of actually doing so. -- Michael Roberts

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.