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How to Fight a Red Light Ticket in Florida

winIt

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Photo by Zachariah Garrison: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-traffic-light-1959841/
Photo: Zachariah Garrison

Florida has some of the highest red-light violations in the country with close to 3% of drivers who have run a red light or stop sign. But if you get a red light ticket, that still doesn’t mean you automatically need to pay the fine. With the help of a traffic defense attorney, you may be able to have the cost of the fine reduced, and even have your ticket dismissed altogether. Read ahead to find out what are the best ways to fight your red light ticket in Florida.

How to Fight a Red Light Camera Ticket in Florida

Red light cameras can capture different traffic violations, from running a red light to stopping in the middle of an intersection while the light is red.

These violations are typically captured in both photo and video forms.

They are reviewed by police officers who will then decide whether the driver was in violation of traffic laws.

In general, red light camera tickets can’t be issued to drivers who:

  • Don’t stop or stop too late at a red light and make a right turn in a “careful and prudent manner”
  • Are directed by law enforcement to go through the red light
  • Are issued a ticket by an officer in person for the same violation

The first thing you need to do when you get a notice of violation is to check the information carefully.

The notice will usually also include a link where you can watch the video of the violation.

If you believe that you received the ticket in error, or you had valid reasons for running a red light, you should fight your ticket.

An estimated two-thirds of Floridians who dispute their red light camera tickets are found not guilty and have their cases dismissed.

In nearly all the other cases, drivers have their fine reduced.

The strategy that will give you the best chance of beating your ticket will depend on your specific circumstances when running the red light.

You were not the one driving the car

Check the date, time, and location of the red-camera recording to make sure that you were driving the car at that time.

Although red-light camera violations are assessed to the owner of the car, in Florida, the driver and not the vehicle owner is liable for the violation.

That means if someone else runs a red light while driving your car … [ keep reading on winIt ]

winIt has been featured in: The New York Times "An App to Help You Win the Parking-Ticket War", Macworld "The Week in iOS Apps: WinIt lets you fight your parking tickets", New York Post "This app will fight your parking ticket so you don’t have to", PIX11 "New app helps you get NYC parking tickets dismissed", AOL NEWS "New app will fight your parking ticket for you", THRILLIST "This app fights your parking tickets so you don’t have ", and ABC NEWS "Have a parking ticket? There's an app to help fight it" See less.

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Real Estate

16 Design Moves That Could Hurt Your Home’s Value, According to Real Estate Pros

Monica Tamayo

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Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/construction-house-architecture-luxury-53610/
Photo: Pixabay

The rules of the real estate market have spoken.

One advantage in buying—or building—a home is the ability to customize it.

Whether you’re building the home from scratch, or renovating it to be more modern and functional, designing a home to your specifications can definitely make it much more enjoyable to live in.

However, unless this is your forever home—and keep in mind that the status of a forever home can change in the blink of an eye due to a job relocation, change in marital status, and numerous other unforeseen factors—it’s wise to consider how your design moves may hurt your home’s value and lead to potential buyers lowballing a home offer or passing on your house.

“If you need to sell your home, keep in mind that you’re selling something in which buyers can see themselves living in.”
—Kimberly Jay, broker at Compass

“If you need to sell your home, keep in mind that you’re selling something in which buyers can see themselves living in,” explains Kimberly Jay, a broker at Compass in New York City. “Designs you love may not appeal to a wide audience and can, in fact, turn them off, decreasing the value of your home.”

Jay and several other experts helped us identify the design moves that could actually hurt your home’s value.

  1. Replacing the Bathtub with a Shower

    Some buyers love to soak in bathtubs, while others prefer the convenience of taking a shower. However, Kate Wollman-Mahan, an agent at Coldwell Banker Warburg in New York City, warns against replacing the bathtub with a shower. “Any home that will appeal to buyers with young kids must have at least one bathtub, and it should be adjacent to the kids’ bedrooms.”

    If you only have one bathroom, definitely don’t remove the bathtub, even to create a larger bathroom. “Even if you can’t recall taking a bath at any point this century, if it’s the only tub in the house, it has to stay,” says Laykin Cheshire, a listing agent for Stone Martin Builders in Montgomery, Ala.

  2. Installing Pools or Hot Tubs

    A pool might sound like a great way to spend those hot summer days.

    However, a 2022 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that fatal child drownings remain high and non-fatal drowning injuries have actually spiked by 17 percent.

    “Pools and hot tubs often come up as a major stumbling block in reselling your home,” warns Jonathan Self, a real estate broker in Chicago. In fact, he says the No. 1 question that buyer agents field about homes with pools is how much would it cost to remove the pool. “Sure, they are fun, but they are also major responsibilities in terms of insurance liability and maintenance costs.”

    And the same goes for hot tubs. “Psychologically they are just perceived as ‘gross’ by a stranger,” he says.

    While homeowners may view a hot tub as an inviting respite for sore muscles, Self says the buyer sees “dirty soup that other people have stewed in.”

  3. Creating a Closed Floor Plan

    During the … [ keep reading on Real Simple ]


This guest post was shared by Monica Tamayo, a professional real estate consultant based in Doral, FL.

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Featured

College Majors With the Best Return on Investment (ROI)

Sarah Jimenez

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Photo by John Guccione
Photo: John Guccione

Engineering and health-care majors top the list for ROI.

It’s no secret that college is expensive.

Both private and public institutions ranked by U.S. News saw tuition increases for the 2022-2023 academic year, according to data submitted in an annual survey.

Average tuition and fees at ranked private universities was about $40,000, while ranked public universities cost nearly $23,000 for out-of-state students and $10,500 for in-state students.

In turn, the average student loan debt continues to rise, currently clocking in at about $30,000 per borrower, according to U.S. News data.

Though students may encounter difficulties paying for it, college is a worthwhile investment when done wisely, experts say.

In 2021, the median weekly wage for full-time workers age 25 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree was $1,334, compared to $809 for those with only a high school diploma and no college, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What a student studies can further affect the calculation.

Certain degrees yield a better return on investment than others, according to data from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known collectively as STEM, the data shows, are among those with the highest ROI.

“STEM careers continue to offer highly competitive salaries in the job market.”
—Jackson Gruver, Data Analyst at Payscale

[ READ: A Guide to STEM Majors. ]

“STEM careers continue to offer highly competitive salaries in the job market,” Jackson Gruver, a data analyst at online salary database Payscale, wrote in an email.

“These ‘hot’ jobs rely on specialized skill sets that are hard to come by. Such talent scarcity drives up the demand for these workers along with their pay. Whether it’s engineering, medical or data sciences – these laborers will see an abundance of opportunities in the job market that compensate well.”

Georgetown’s CEW analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard to determine a list of 34 degrees with the highest ROI.

It uses four categories to determine which degrees hold the most economic value:

  1. median monthly earnings net of debt
  2. median monthly debt payments
  3. median annualized earnings net of debt
  4. median debt

Payscale also tracks salary data by analyzing survey results from the past 10 years of nearly 3.5 million respondents with either an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, reporting both early and mid-career median pay for specific majors.

Degrees With the Highest ROI

Engineering tops both the CEW and Payscale lists for best return on investment.

Engineering degree holders have median monthly earnings of $6,000, or $72,200 per year, after debt payments – which average $240 per month – have been paid off, according to CEW data.

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Engineering technologies/technicians ranks fourth, with median earnings of $5,100 per month or $61,800 per year, after median monthly debt payments of $230.

According to Payscale data, here are some specific engineering majors in bachelor’s degree programs that result in high incomes … [ keep reading on U.S. News & World Report ]

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Business

Brand Visibility—What Is It? How Can I Increase It?

Ivan Jimenez

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Photo by Subin: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-human-eye-946727/
Photo: Subin

People tend to choose what is most familiar to us, even if we only do so unconsciously.

Which means that the more visible your brand, the greater is your ability to acquire and retain customers.

Many factors influence how a prospective customer or client chooses one brand over another, but one thing that inarguably matters is simply how visible your brand is.

We could think about it from a risk mitigation perspective.

The safest decision is often to follow the most popular option. It’s why we have the old saying, “no one ever got fired for buying IBM.”

Today, we might change that saying to “no one ever got fired for buying Salesforce,” but the point stands: the most well-known brand in a space is often the most trusted, whether or not that level of trust is deserved.

Which is why brand visibility is one of the most important metrics your brand isn’t tracking.

What Is Brand Visibility?

Brand visibility is defined as the proportion of exposure a brand enjoys in relation to its competitors and its industry.

It’s a component of brand awareness, which is an umbrella term that describes several different methods of measuring a brand’s overall coverage and sentiment in a market.

Because brand visibility measures, quite literally, how “visible” a brand is to target customers, it matters greatly how and where you measure this.

In other words, brand visibility is something you should calculate on a per-channel basis, not necessarily in aggregate.

You can have a search brand visibility number that resembles a metric like “share of search.”

You can have a social media brand visibility number that calculates your overall brand reach vs that of your competitors.

Unlike metrics such as market share or share of search, however, the brand visibility metric need not be calculated in relation to competitors or your market in general. It can act as a standalone metric, something you benchmark and hope to improve over time.

Marketing91 gives the following explanation of brand visibility:

“If you can recall at least one person whom you see on your newsfeeds daily, that is how band visibility works. All the posts may not be quality content. But appearance is what matters.”

Brand visibility is an important input metric into your overall brand awareness, but you still need to care about quality, sentiment, and targeted placements.

I’ll offer some advice below on how to make sure your brand visibility efforts are actually translating to increased sales and business impact.

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Brand Visibility vs Brand Awareness vs Brand Perception

To define brand visibility accurately, it helps to see where it sits among other related metrics like brand awareness and brand perception.

Brand Awareness

At the highest level, we have brand awareness.

Brand awareness is a catchall metric that includes various measurements and methodologies that answer the question, “are prospects aware of our brand?”

In measuring brand awareness, it may be best to …

Keep reading on SEM Rush

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