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Pros and Cons of Skipping Out on Paying Your Red Light Ticket

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As Los Angeles officials have debated killing the city's red light program over the last month and a half, we've all learned a startling and important fact: there's not a lot of consequence to not paying your ridiculously expensive red light ticket (some run close to $500). But, it's also important to know that there is still some consequence. Every red light runner (or rolling right turner) must choose for himself whether or not to pay--and to help, the LA Times ran an article today on all the things that can and can't happen to those who skip out on the check. Here's the rundown for and against non-payment:

Pros: Not Paying Your Red Light Ticket
-- LA County Superior Court has decided that the practice of mailing tickets to offenders rather than handing them over is unfair, so it doesn't really enforce collections
-- The Court won't notify the state DMV, so the ticket won't show up as a "pre-conviction" and affect your license or registration renewal
-- The Court might send your ticket to a collection agency, but it won't show up on your credit report

Cons: Paying Your Red Light Ticket
-- If you've fought your ticket in court and been ordered to pay a fine, you'll still have to pay
-- Some drivers have said insurance companies "threatened" to raise their premiums for unpaid red light tickets
-- If someone (like a potential employer) runs a background check, it'll show your red light ticket as delinquent

What about the poor schmucks who've already paid? (The Court, which covers all of LA County, estimates that 60% of tickets get paid.) City Councilmember Paul Koretz says refunds aren't likely, but supposedly class-action lawyers are watching the red light situation and judging whether to swoop in. Ticket via Photo Enforced
· Who knew L.A.'s red-light camera fines were 'voluntary'? [LAT]