The actual capability of camera equipment is so limited that they are easily thwarted. Here are a few simple and easy ways to greatly reduce your chances receiving citations from photo enforcement equipment. Your mileage may vary, attempt at your own risk!
- Wear a mask while you drive... anything from a gorilla head to a surgical or dust mask should work fine. They may send you a ticket in the mail, but clearly the picture will not be sufficient to identify you.
- Cover your face - stick your arm, hand, paper, or anything you might have handy in front of your face. If you block your face sufficiently, they will not be able to identify you.
- Turn your head - if you turn your head enough away from the camera, the camera may not get a good shot. This one is risky because you don't know how the photo will turn out.
- Tilt your head back or forward significantly - If all they see is the top of your head or the bottom of your chin, it will be hard for them to correlate the picture to the picture on your driver's license.
- Lower your visors and sit up high - Best done in combination with these other methods. Anything to block a clear shot of you will help.
Other methods to make your car photo-radar-resistant include:
- Plate covers and sprays - Caution! These may or may not be considered illegal or work effectively.
- Install a trailer hitch - Depending on your bumper, it might block a clear view of a digit or two on your plate.
- Pull a trailer or a boat - This will block your car or truck's plate. They can send a ticket to the registrant of the trailer, but who's to say you didn't lend out your boat or trailer to a friend? Additionally, these plates are smaller and not always mounted in an easy-to-photograph location.
- Get a custom license plate with similar letters and numbers together, such as I and 1, or O and 0 (zero) and D, B and 8. Also choose plate designs that do not offer a lot of contrast with the lettering.
- If you drive a truck, drive with the tailgate down. The cameras are usually elevated such that they will not get a clear shot of the plate.
- Register your car in the name of a company - This may be more trouble than it's worth as you may lose insurance discounts that you currently qualify for. Call your insurance agent for details. They cannot legally serve a corporation and a corporation (or even an individual) is not legally required to reveal the identity of a driver in a photograph.
- Register your car in the name of your spouse - Simply show up to court, say that it's clearly not you in the photo and they will dismiss the ticket. Legally, you are not required to testify against or incriminate your spouse. Additionally, you are not required to testify on behalf of the state as to who the driver actually is.
If you do get flashed by a photo enforcement camera, it's important to know what to do. First of all, you can check the Court Information Website to see if they are coming after you. If you get a ticket in the mail, you can simply throw it away. Tickets must be properly served in order to be valid. Read more about this here. Another great resource is PhotoRadarLaw.com. Your only risk is having to pay roughly an additional $25 for a process server fee should you lose your court case. And what if the person in the picture isn't you? You aren't required to rat them out. You have no obligation to or legal requirement to testify or do the state's detective work.
If a process server does catch you at home, you will have to respond to the ticket either by paying the fine or showing up to court. We encourage everyone to fight their tickets. These should be fairly easy to beat, and we have a few defense ideas for you here.
These methods are not fool-proof, but they will probably make it harder to actually receive a citation and make it easier to beat in court.