Red Light Camera Ticket Trap in San Mateo County and City of Millbrae?

Red Light Camera Ticket Trap in San Mateo County and City of Millbrae?


Did you receive a red light camera ticket in the mail from San Mateo or the city of Millbrae? Well you’re not alone because Millbrae Ave and Rollins Rd is one of the highest traffic ticket intersections in the Bay Area for red light camera violations. The cost of a red light camera ticket in California can total up to $500, which isn’t cheap.

Many tickets are given to drivers who make a rolling right turn onto Millbrae Ave at a red light, instead of making a complete stop. This is really easy to do as you’re exiting the 101 southbound highway off ramp at Millbrae Ave., which is why drivers are calling this intersection a “ticket trap”. Below is an image of the intersection to illustrate more clearly.

Credit Lee Twitter

As you can see, there are cameras at every corner of the Millbrae intersection to capture photos and record video of drivers making this common mistake. There are many drivers with great driving records who complain that these red light cameras are designed to generate revenue for the city rather than prevent traffic accidents. Either way we still need to obey all the traffic laws for safety reasons.

How do Red Light Cameras Systems Work?

Usually, red light cameras systems are located at all four corners of an intersection in order to capture traffic violations from various angles. The system is motion activated so when a vehicle approaches an intersection after the traffic light turns red, the video camera is triggered. The camera will automatically start recording and capture a photo of the front of the car (focusing on the driver’s face) and a photo of the rear of the car (focusing on the license plate). The system also records the date, time, intersection and other incriminating information of the traffic violator.

Where are the Red Light Camera Locations in San Mateo and Millbrae?

Red Light Camera Locations in Millbrae:

  • 101 Southbound Highway off ramp at Millbrae Ave.
  • Millbrae Avenue at Rollins Road.
  • El Camino Real at Millbrae Ave.

Red Light Camera Locations San Mateo County:

  • Hillsdale Blvd to Saratoga Drive
  • Saratoga Drive to Hillsdale Blvd
  • Hillsdale Blvd to S. Norfolk Street
  • Hillsdale Blvd to S. Norfolk Street
  • 4th Avenue to Humboldt Street

How to Get a Red Light Camera Ticket Dismissed?

  1. Mistaken Identity (It Wasn’t Me!) – If you can prove that the person behind the wheel wasn’t you in the photo or video committing the traffic violation, then a judge may decide to dismiss the ticket.
  2. Obstruction of View – If there was tree or other signage blocking your view of the traffic sign or traffic light, you may be able to use this to get your ticket dismissed. I was going to fight a ticket using this defense but the officer never showed up. I still had brought sufficient evidence to court to prove my case (there was traffic signs blocking other traffic signs, which obstructed my view and ability to see the traffic sign). There were tons of drivers that went to court that day who rececived the same violation from the same officer and all the tickets were dismissed. I’m not sure why the officer didn’t show up to court that day but I’m positive he didn’t have a case.

How to fight a Red Light Camera Ticket in San Mateo?

Should you fight a Red Light Camera Ticket in San Mateo? Sometimes it’s a good idea to have a traffic ticket lawyer help you fight a red light traffic violation in court. However, its important to realize that red light camera tickets are much harder to beat because they have photos and videos of you commiting the violation. Working with a traffic lawyer can make a difference as long as you have sufficient evidence to support your case.

Before fighting a red light camera ticket, it’s good idea to think about all your options first. For instance, if the Judge says you’re eligible for traffic school then you could complete online traffic school in less than a day (Sometimes a couple hours). Hiring a traffic lawyer can be time consuming and sometimes be more expensive than just paying the ticket fine.

How can You Avoid getting a Ticket at These Intersections?

Well, you should definitely be cautious and aware of traffic signs and signals especially when driving in areas like these. Many drivers just avoid driving in these type of intersections altogether. Also, some people have decided to use Lyft rideshare to get around instead, which relieves them from any responsiblity from getting traffic tickets.

It’s important that we all obey traffic laws and signals for the safety of cities but it really makes one think, are these red light cameras intended to decrease traffic incidents or just create more revenue for the city?

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