Nobody likes to have his or her photo taken. Inevitably, your hair is sticking up, you’ve accidentally blinked, or you’ve been caught open-mouthed, mid-word. But if you’re driving with a CDL (commercial driver’s’ license) and a camera flashes while you’re just missing the yellow light or driving a little too fast, having your photo taken can have consequences for your wallet, your license, and even your business.

There are hundreds of traffic cameras (which include red light cameras, right turn cameras, speed cameras, and toll cameras) in Virginia alone. And while traffic cameras can be an inconvenience to the average driver, if you hold a CDL, a single camera flash can threaten your job.

How do traffic cameras work?
Traffic cameras are installed and programmed by traffic engineers, who dictate what conditions, when “sensed” by the camera, will trigger taking the photos. Most traffic cameras take multiple photos, for instance, one when the vehicle crosses the stop line and one when the vehicle is fully in the intersection, in the case of a red light camera. And while many cameras photograph only the license plate of the vehicle, several also photograph the driver. After photos are taken, they are sent for verification by a trained professional, who checks that the license plate is reasonably legible and that there are no obvious signs of interference. After verification, tickets are mailed to the driver.

The consequences for the average driver
Tickets appear on your motor vehicle record. Depending on the photographed offense, penalties could include fines or, with a sufficiently severe or multiple offenses, suspension of your license. Under some conditions, your insurance rates may rise. But consequences for a driver with a CDL can be even stiffer.

The consequences for a driver with a CDL
Tickets appear on your motor vehicle record and in the state of Virginia you may need to inform your employer. Serious or multiple tickets can lead to dismissal from your job or a prohibition on using your CDL, known in Virginia as “disqualification”. Aside from threatening your job, fines and penalties associated with the ticket may be higher than for the average driver. You and your employer’s’ insurance rates may rise, and future employers will see your record when considering hiring you, putting you at a disadvantage for future job consideration.

Seek some assistance
If you hold a CDL, you know that your license is your livelihood. Don’t attempt to navigate the potentially serious consequences of a traffic camera ticket on your own. If you’ve recently had your photo taken and accidentally blinking during the flash is the least of your concerns, there may be options available to you. Contact Jad Sarsour, he is an experienced Fairfax County, VA defense attorney today for a free consultation.

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