By on October 10, 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) sided on Friday with red light camera companies and the remaining municipalities that use automated ticketing machines. He vetoed a measure that would have placed the mildest of restrictions on photo ticketing.

“I am returning Senate Bill 29 without my signature,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “This bill standardizes rules for local governments to follow when installing and maintaining red light cameras. This is something that can and should be overseen by local elected officials.”

State law already authorizes local officials to use red light cameras and does so by setting a number of standards. The vetoed measure would have added a handful of new restrictions that, for the most part, reflect the current practice of photo ticketing programs in the Golden State. The bill’s most significant provision would have banned the use of “snitch tickets,” which are notices that look like tickets that red light camera vendors mail to registered vehicle owners to trick them into disclosing the identity of the driver in a red light camera photograph. California law requires that only the actual person behind the wheel receive the ticket. The legislation would require a clear and prominent statement on such vendor mailings that there is no penalty for failure to respond. The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), was disappointed by Brown’s move.

“I think we can keep folks safe and still give the driving public a fair shake,” Simitian said in a statement. “I’m sorry the governor didn’t agree.”

The California Department of Finance, which serves as the chief fiscal policy advisor to the governor’s office, offered the only written opposition to the bill.

“Department of Finance is opposed to this bill because it would make the installation and operation of red light cameras more cumbersome for local agencies, which is likely to result in their reduced or discontinued use,” the Senate legislative summary explained. “This could reduce annual revenues to the state and to local jurisdictions by approximately $140 million annually.”

The state Senate will now decide whether to override Brown’s veto. The bill passed the body by a 38-0 vote on September 1, a more than sufficient amount. It sailed through the state Assembly by a similarly large 70-4 vote on August 30.

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

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14 Comments on “California Governor Sides with Red Light Camera Companies...”


  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The headline sounded like he threw a huge chunk of raw meat at the monster. He didn’t – he just said that local municipalities can best determine the use of red light cameras for their jurisdictions.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Perhaps, but isn’t there something directly contradictory in this quote:

      “This bill standardizes rules for local governments to follow when installing and maintaining red light cameras. This is something that can and should be overseen by local elected officials.”

      And to be able to say it with such conviction, gotta love Guv Moonbeam!

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I suppose I’m failing to see how your one-sided opinion of the Governor equals a contradiction in what the Governor is quoted as saying. Whats the contradiction in stating the obvious; local elected officials work within state lead parameters but within those limits have freedom to do as they were elected to do? If the state laws, passed by elected officials, support the local gummint putting up a red-light camera then thats pretty straight forward. Hardly a contradiction.

  • avatar
    Caraholica

    “Department of Finance is opposed to this bill because it would make the installation and operation of red light cameras more cumbersome for local agencies, which is likely to result in their reduced or discontinued use,” the Senate legislative summary explained. “This could reduce annual revenues to the state and to local jurisdictions by approximately $140 million annually.”

    I love this thinking. Like the $140 million will just fall out of the air.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    “This is something that can and should be overseen by local elected officials.” Wow. You’d think those words came from a small-government conservative, rather than Governor Moonbeam.

    Of course, red light and speeding cameras have absolutely nothing to do with partisan politics and everything to do with money-grabbing by (typically cash-strapped) municipalities. My hometown of Dayton has a rash of red light cameras and has recently activated about a dozen speeding cameras in high-traffic areas. It’d be comical if it wasn’t so sad: A blighted city tries to compensate for its eroding tax base by constantly finding new ways to chase people away.

    If anything, I’d like to see state governments intervening against heavy-handed revenue collecting measures like these. Of course, the states have their own revenue problems, as the overabundance of Ohio State Patrol-run speed traps and DWI checkpoints in my area will attest. And Jerry Brown needs to find a way to pay for that Dream Act, too…

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    I would wager that this’ll be his thinking, until he’s caught in an intersection manned by one of these contraptions and it’s also got an abnormally short yellow,tricking him into a ticket, then he’ll see the light of his ways.

    The thing that I see in general is that many municipalities look at these technologies as a salvation for all their financial ills when in many ways, some of the problem, when it’s not the sagging economy, is often of their own fault for poor budgeting in the first place.

    And it’s often prefaced in the smoke screen of “safety” as when you have to market the idea as such, then somethings not on the up and up IMO.

  • avatar
    Lee

    So basically they are admitted what we already know. Red Light Camera’s are nothing but roadside cash registers.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIlzYD4tk78

    People that voted for him this time should never vote again.

  • avatar
    henrythegearhead

    The article is highly inaccurate.

    The article said:

    “The bill’s most significant provision would have banned the use of “snitch tickets,” which are notices that look like tickets that red light camera vendors mail to registered vehicle owners to trick them into disclosing the identity of the driver in a red light camera photograph.”

    I disagree. The bill DOES NOT contain a ban on snitch tickets. It does the opposite, it legitimizes them. From the bill, as signed:

    “(c) This section and Section 40520 do not preclude the issuing
    agency or the manufacturer or supplier of the automated traffic
    enforcement system from mailing a courtesy notice or any other notice other than a notice to appear to the registered owner of the vehicle or the alleged violator prior to issuing a notice to appear.”

    Worse, the phrase “prior to issuing a notice to appear” seems to give the issuing agency more time, perhaps limited only by the
    one-year statute of limitations, to issue a real ticket (a Notice to Appear). The present deadline to issue a real ticket is 15 days.

    The author continued:

    “The legislation would require a clear and prominent statement
    on such vendor mailings [the snitch tickets] that there is no penalty for failure to respond.”

    That requirement, which appeared at the very end of Section 2 of the bill, was removed, in its entirety, by an Aug. 26 amendment.

    California legislators – particularly Sen. Simitian – are never gonna give motorists a break, not even a little one. It’s all about money.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Do not give these monkeys your hard earned cash! They need a clear picture of you to proceed so have something ready like a ball hat to cover your face. Straw or mesh hats are easier to see out of so give them an unusable picture because in states like California it’s a criminal citation and they absolutely have to prove you’re the driver. Or just simply flip the visor down and hold your head up till you can’t see the camera.

  • avatar
    jmatt

    I have to admit, watching socialists suffer the consequences of their political stupidity is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

    • 0 avatar
      creamy

      i have to admit, watching someone call this governor (and the people who voted for him) socialist when what the governor is doing is NOT regulating a corporate-backed control of government and law is one of life’s great pleasures.


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