DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver is bringing in thousands of dollars in fines every year by ticketing people who stop at red lights. They are ticketed because their tire goes over the white line that marks where the vehicle should stop.

The red light cameras at various intersections in the city will flash and the driver will be sent a $75 citation if the vehicle goes over the white line, even if the driver stops for the light.

“They are stealing money. Who has extra money to pay?” asked one driver.

“I think this is an injustice, it’s just completely unfair,” said another.

“I didn’t go through the red light. I just didn’t stop at the white line,” said yet another driver. “I feel it’s a frivolous charge. If an officer had been present, I would not have been given that ticket.”

That driver went to court to fight the ticket and lost.

According to the law, Steady red indication:

a. Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown; except that

1. Such vehicular traffic, after coming to a stop and yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection, may make a right turn unless an official sign is erected at each and every intersection where such right turn is prohibited.

2. Such vehicular traffic, when proceeding on a one-way street, and after coming to a stop, may make a left turn onto a one-way street upon which traffic is moving to the left of the driver. Such turn shall be made only after yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed. No such turn shall be made if a sign is erected giving notice of any such prohibition at each and every intersection where such left turn is prohibited.

b. Pedestrians facing a steady circular red signal alone shall not enter the roadway, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal.

c. Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal may not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by such arrow and, unless entering the intersection to make such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to make the movement indicated by such arrow is shown.

d. Pedestrians facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the roadway, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal.
(Code 1950, § 508.6)

The pictures are reviewed at the Denver Police Photo Enforcement Division before a ticket is issued.

“When we review the violation image and the front tire is (only inches away from) the stop bar, we will not issue the citation,” said Denver Police Dept. Photo Enforcement Supervisor Ted Porras.

Porras said when a car stops over the line it can block the intersection, which forces pedestrians to go around cars or even get stuck in traffic.

Rudy Bettmann received a ticket and acknowledges being over the line.

“This is the photograph I received and it looks like my front tire was right on the back edge of this line,” said Bettmann.

He even took measurements and his own photos to fight the ticket, but he lost.

“Are these cameras to make money for the city or are they for safety?” CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger asked Porras.

“It is for safety,” Porras said. “If this was simply a money-generating machine, all that people need to do is follow the law and we wouldn’t have a reason for the program.”

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger found most everyone who challenged the white line tickets in court lost. But he did find one judge offering a reduction from a $75 fine to $40 for a guilty plea. The reduction comes only after the defendant answers affirmatively to the judge’s question as to
whether they will drive safer in the future.

Another knocked down the fine to $50 if someone had to wait for more than an hour for their court hearing.

Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz has asked the photo enforcement department to give drivers a break.

“They feel if they blow through a red light they deserve a ticket, but if their wheels just inch into the white line and there’s no safety hazard around, that that’s being nitpicky,” said Faatz.

The city of Denver is promising a study on the effectiveness of its red light cameras.

Colorado Springs announced the end of its red light cameras just last week after studies showed they didn’t improve safety.

Comments (295)
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  5. Mike says:

    It’s all about the revenue, control, and the power trip. It’s not safety or any other reason, although they will claim it is. It’s BS, and they know it. The more power we give them, the more they wish to take. Come on is this truly an issue that needs addressing? One would think that we, (as a government) have much bigger fish to fry than this petty bs. Can you imagine the tax dollars spent on purchasing, installing, maintaining, and even worse monitoring these cameras? All so we can give someone a $250 ticket for crossing a little line. Is the cost truly worth the benefit on the premise of “safety”? It certainly is ONLY for he revenue. It is not certainly cost effective for the safety aspect that is for sure. If you try and make that argument, ask yourself, is the overall cost of this worth the EXTREMELY rare case of an accident caused by someone creeping over a white line by mere inches. I would challenge you to crunch the numbers and show them.

    Life is somewhat risky, we can’t put a condom on everyone.

    This is an example of the New World Order taking over your lives.

    In the end, we let them get to this point and only we can strip them of this over- indulgent power.

  6. orabeway says:

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  7. Greg Squire says:

    Red light running (and speeding) is out of control! The police can’t be everywhere so alternative is there? If you don’t want the ticket or the fine then stop behind the line and slow down. This would also stop the city from making money off of you…

  8. Fifth Horseman says:

    Then stop.. Stop Dead behind the White Line. If its yellow stop. Only move on green. Tie up traffic. Grid lock the city.
    At election time vote the Mayor out of office, change the city government. Tie up the city e-mails.
    Read books from Paladin Press.

  9. J.D. says:

    There are several ways to get around a speeding ticket. Did you know that a police officer must be certified annually to shoot radar, and if the certification lapses well… Learn these tips, tricks, and secrets and how to use them yourself. Some even may or may not be known to expensive lawyers. Check out this guide written by attorneys to protect your rights and save you money. Traffic Ticket Secrets!

  10. Martin Fee says:

    If your getting a ticket anyway might as well just blow off the light and do as you wish. I would. If I am going to pay for a crime you can bet your life I WILL be actually guilty of it

  11. Proof Negative says:

    I’m sure next they will have ordinances about not cooking Halal during Ramadan.
    Or maybe your kid is talking too loud in the back seat.

    I’ll be discussing tyranny with loony laws & such tonight on my show on Freedomizer Radio… 7pm-10pm MST/ 6pm-9pm PST. http://www.freedomizerradio.com

    I hope more people can stand up to the tyranny we are facing. We have lost our way because we do not challenge the Elites.

  12. Cincinnatus says:

    They do this because we have allowed government to become oppressive.

  13. Sue Cole says:

    I received one of these tickets but lost in court for a $60 fine. There were no pedestrians at risk or otherwise in the photos. It showed brake lights being applied as the very short light was making it difficult to stop with my very large dogs in the van. My husband, retired Police Sgt made the comment that he never knew of any officer who would give such a petty ticket, including himself (31 yrs on the job), but the City of Denver knows full well that this isn’t a safety issue. It IS a revenue issue. We just came back from another vacation and note clearly that light cycles in Colorado, specifically Denver, are too short for safe driving. Perhaps our state reps ought to be working on this extortion of the public! So typically Denver!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ya if u r going to get a fine.. U should just keep driving thru.

  15. hombre says:

    dont pay the fine,you have a right to face your accuser.

  16. moreco2 says:

    ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO STAY OUT OF THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF DENVER!

  17. Free Will says:

    What right does the system have to tamper with Free Will? Its playing with fire.

  18. Jeff Scott says:

    COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE PART OF THE JOBS BILL WE HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT?

  19. LUTHER G. BROSSA says:

    Until you’re ready to put your life on the line, shut your blow-holes and role-over for more of the same. If I’ve done something wrong, then I own up to it. If I haven’t, I make them burn-off thousands in court and incarceration costs. When I’ve personally encountered such abuse by so-called law-enforcement, I ask them to put the cuffs on my wrists and purposely do the time in county jail. It’s all about enriching themselves at the expense of your fear. Become fearless and watch how quick they move on…

  20. Concerned Serf says:

    Hoodie and Pipe Cutter…

  21. conserned serf says:

    hoodie and pipe cutter….

  22. Bob mino says:

    These days,it is common, given the crowded roads and irregular pace of traffic, to make a judgement as to barely run a red light or to brake hard and stop short. Those that stop short of the intersection instead of risking going through should be commended, not fleeced. In these situations you can’t always stop clear of the crosswalk even though you know it is the right thing to do. Call the mayor. If he won’t stop this, vote him and his party out!

  23. Bootsie says:

    So I have a question. We got one of these tickets. The car is titled under the name of a trust account. The ticket was mailed to a person, but to the trust. How can a trust be ticketed for this? They can’t pin this on a driver. Also according to the Colorado Constitution, these tickets must be PERSONALLY handed to the driver within 90 of the alleged violation, otherwise it is automatically dismissed. So what happens if one does not responded other than sending to a collection agency. And if after 90 days of not being personally served, does that nullify any attempt to collect payment?

  24. Al says:

    In Alaska, during the 90’s, they tried using speed detectors which flash a picture of people speeding. People starting to take it to court and had lawyers. Come to find out that due to Alaska Constitution, only law enforcement officers can give out tickets. I wonder if Colorado has such a bill stating that only law enforcement officers can write tickets. If that is the case, a good lawyer might be able to stop these machines from being use. After all, they are not a law enforcement officer.

  25. stan says:

    How they will fine people in winter time?DAAAAAA?

  26. Jimbo Limbo says:

    This is revenue generation, 100%. In places (all over the country) where these lights are not making money (thereby supposedly making the behavior of drivers more safe), the cameras are moved, or removed. If they do not generate a certain revenue, the company that runs them has the right to move or remove them- check out the contracts- most of them promise a guaranteed amount and % of tickets issued, and dollar amounts collected. It is a scam, plain and simple.

  27. Greenday says:

    Get off your soap boxes people. There are RULES OF THE ROAD when it comes to driving. If you don’t know what the RULES OF THE ROAD are then I suggest you learn them, by either getting a drivers manual at your local drivers license office, read it online at there website, or here is a thought GO TO A DRIVING SCHOOL. Every thing you do there are rules, work, home ect. and you need to follow the rules. Having a drivers license is a priviledge!!! There is a reason why you are suppose to stop behind the stop line, and no the intersection does not start after the stop line. That space is for a pedestrian, you know those people that like or have to walk somewhere. If you stop in the space for a pedestrian then you are taking the right away from the pedestrian. Maybe that pedestrian is your kid walking to school or home from school, and some yahoo stops in the space that they are suppose to cross the street. Now they have to walk out into traffic to get around you. Now your kid gets hit by a car because this person stopped on the crosswalk. How would you feel???? If you don’t like the driving laws there is a civil way to change them. Remember back in high school when you learned about government. Don’t be on a soap box and re-write the law.

  28. DenverCousin says:

    I got a ticket and in the photos I was over the line. I stopped as required and rolled forward to make a right turn on red. There were no pedestrians in a 3 block radius. I have not had a traffic ticket in over 30 years.

    There should be a sign required at each intersection where there are cameras stating that you will be ticketed if you cross the line, Not unlike the signs required by photo speed radar when they are operating. It’s an expensive and unevenly applied fine, clearly just a revenue generator.

    This is like Speed traps of old. Just a revenue source. This specific law is made just as a revenue source and justified by safety concerns. I hope the new Mayor and Judges see all these comments.

  29. MrGrinch says:

    Often the sensors that turn the light green are misplaced and beyond the white line. I’d bet the farm this is where they will place the cameras!

  30. Don Bags says:

    Oh my God….

    It’s really simple…it is against the law to block the crosswalk at a red light. Period. When I took driver’s ed that was taught. We all knew it. When I was learning to drive the instructor even told me not to get too close to the crosswalk…give the pedestrians some room to breath.

    I’ve ran across crosswalks where idiot drivers almost hit you because they think it’s okay to go beyond the line, and aren’t used to some pedestrian dashing up in front of them faster than normal. It is my right to run in a crosswalk that’s green my way. It is not a right for a stupid driver to almost hit me because he forgot how to properly control his vehicle.

    So get over people. I’m not in favor of a nanny state. And not being able to uniformly enforce all ticky-tacky laws doesn’t mean you get to break whatever ticky-tacky law you like. They’ve found a way to enforce this law and so they implemented it. So what?

    1. moreco2 says:

      You.are.an.idiot.

  31. Jsmith says:

    How ’bout if instead of whining, you stop before you cross the white line ? Good lord, people. Take responsibility for your actions. This is a skill you can master.

    1. Don Bags says:

      lol…sad that it has to be stated. Sad but true.

    2. moreco2 says:

      You.are.an.idot.

  32. chris says:

    The writers of this law used the word “before” to desribe where to stop in relation to a crosswalk and an intersection. They didn’t say stop “at” the crosswalk or stop “at” the intersection. However, they did say stop at the line. Had they intended you to stop before the line it would say stop before the line. By using different words, the writers gave the words different and distinct meanings and therefore, stoping on the line could mean stoping at the line as could stoping before the line or stoping after the line. My point is that had they intended at to mean before the law would say before.

    1. gary gooddriver says:

      Congratulations, you’ve just defeated your own argument. If “at” could mean stopping over the line is acceptable then at what point over the line are you no longer stopped “at” the line? One inch? One foot? Ten feet? If it’s a subjective matter of judgment as you suggest then the authority has obviously judged that “at” means “not over” since that’s when the cameras activate. See how easy common sense is?

      But it’s irrelevant because nobody reads the traffic laws. Instead, people operate by what they interpret the traffic symbols to mean. And people know they shouldn’t cross the intersection lines at stop lights just like they know they shouldn’t pass over a double yellow line. But they do anyway because they don’t care about the traffic rules that inconvenience them. Then when they get busted they convert instantly from anarchists to constitutionists. If people would do what they know is right all the time the world would be a better place and traffic cameras would cost more than they brought in and would go away.

      1. chris says:

        That is my point, “at” could mean anything. They have chosen for it to mean before in some cases and a few inches over in others.

        “When we review the violation image and the front tire is (only inches away from) the stop bar, we will not issue the citation,” said Denver Police Dept. Photo Enforcement Supervisor Ted Porras.

        The term “at” is vague as it does not describe a particular distinct location, however, had they used the term “before” as they did in relation to the crosswalk and intersection it would be much more clear and properly put the public on notice as to what is allowed and what isn’t. I presume that if what we all do what we know is right is reffering to what is right and what is wrong according to your morality. See how easy common sense is?

  33. gary gooddriver says:

    If there was a second line painted after the first line, and the law was that a vehicle could optionally stop before the first line but absolutely must stop before the second line, most of you knuckleheads would STILL driver over the second line. And you know it. So stop it with the parsing of the meaning of “at”. Bottom line is you want a pass for breaking a law that you don’t want to obey. Because you are all traffic engineers and know all about intersection safety. And when a city decides to crack down on your irresponsibility and busts you your innate reaction is to lash out at everything and everyone but yourself. Sorry but we’re a nation of laws not liberals. Go occupy Canada.

  34. George1 says:

    What if an ambulance comes up behind you while you are waiting for the light to change. Do you pull up ,break the law and cross the line, and get a ticket?….. . or do you just make the patient wait until the light changes?

    1. greenday says:

      Learn what the driving laws or, here is an idea GO TO A DRIVING SCHOOL to learn, and stop driving until you know wht the laws are.

  35. phenrod says:

    One fine day citizens will realize the government has resorted to tyranny to keep and expand its power and money. This has happened because hard-working citizens have been busy supporting their families an enjoying their prosperity while leaving governance to the liberals (communists, socialists, statists). Fortunately there is a solution: get involved. Join a local tea party or other conservative group. Don’t just vote, but encourage everyone on your block and your relatives to vote to. Explain to them why it is so important. Obama is implementing socialist policies like cap and trade through agencies (EPA) because he knows elected representatives (Congress) won’t pass it. Enough Tea-Party backed elected representatives is a start to defeating the liberals and that means Democrats. Start now to defeat BHO in 2012.

  36. Ranger01 says:

    Denver, The city of the Gestapo!

  37. Silhouette says:

    Thieves…the lot of them. When they send you a picture of your car touching the white line….send the S.O.B.s a picture of $75.00.

  38. Buck Ofama says:

    these g0ddamned c0cksuckers.

    i think these photo-lights cause accidents because they force sudden stops.

    1. Machismo says:

      HA HA HA HA! Speak it as you sees it!

  39. IGetItAlready says:

    So my Mexi friends, the moral of the story is sneak into our country illegally. Dump your anchor babies on our soil or as close to the fence as you can get. Bring your family and friends and we’ll pay you and support you all for life.

    But I swear on all things holy you S.O.B., if you EVER touch your tires to the crosswalk line your ass is OURS!!!

  40. Trace says:

    More petty ante nuisance socialist government oppression. This govt needs to be put in its place. Many of the people who stopped might otherwise have gone through . Govt is uspposed to b e OUR SERVANT, providing the common defense. THey havve long exceeded their bounds and need to be slapped down to size and their salaires and perkis cut in half or less. Put those bureaucrats out in the economy and let them work for a living

  41. siylence says:

    Actually wanted to visit Colorado one day…but any state that has these kind of ridiculous traffic laws will not receive my tourism. It’s stressful enough just driving with the stupid red light cameras without having to worry about militaristic technicalities.

  42. Rod Anders says:

    I will NEVER move to Denver again !!!

  43. Rod Anders says:

    Fraud and theft.

  44. Iambic PentaMaster says:

    Liberals love those white lines,
    (Pardon me whilst I opines),
    The leftist mayor,
    Wannabe player,
    Says shut up and pay your fines!

  45. joe says:

    Bolingbrook, IL had these a few years ago until enough people complained…then the city got rid of them…if enough people complain and fight the tickets, the city will do away with them.

  46. scott says:

    Every citizens gets the government they deserve; vote the clowns out of office and change the law.

  47. Awesome says:

    Oh boooo hoooo!!! Crybabies. This is what we wanted brothers! The chosen one and his buddies have instilled a big brother mentality that will last for DECADES. At it was all possible thanks to the useful idiots of this country.

    THANK YOU!!!!

  48. B Cyclist says:

    It’s about time these idiots that stop on the crosswalk are fined……

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