California Legislature Considers Tweaking Red Light Camera Law
A committee of the California General Assembly last month began consideration of legislation that would make minor changes in the way red light cameras are used in the state. State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) introduced a bill that he believes will increase the fairness in the administration of automated citations. Simitian is a supporter of photo ticketing who nevertheless believes the existing system suffers from significant flaws.
“[The cameras] raise issues of accuracy, privacy and due process,” Simitian said in a statement. “I’m strongly of the view that traffic tickets should only be issued to improve public safety, not to raise revenue.”
Simitian’s measure requires signs posted at each individual photo enforcement locations in addition to a city’s main entrances. Current law gives cities a choice of entrance point or individual location signs. Simitian would also require that cities come up with a “safety” justification, posted on the Internet,for each location where red light cameras are installed. The only significant change to existing practice, however, is a provision of Simitian’s proposal that puts teeth into the existing law that sets out requirements for cities to follow in their ticketing programs but fails to include any enforcement mechanism.
“Any citation issued by a governmental agency is null and void if it violates or engages in a contract that violates any of the activities described,” Senate Bill 1362 states.
The prohibited conduct under Simitian’s measure includes: Failure to create uniform operational guidelines; failure to post “safety” criteria for intersection selection; failure to post warning signs; failure to establish proper signal timing; and failure to have law enforcement review each citation.
Simitian said that his idea for the legislation came from a constituent, Vera Gil, who faced significant problems in trying to clear her name after a private firm mailed her a red light camera ticket for an offense she did not commit.
“I was frustrated,” Gil said in a statement. “Their license plate is one letter different than mine. It’s a mistake I expect to happen, but it took weeks and weeks to clear up. There was no information on who to talk to if you believed the ticket had been assigned to the wrong car. I think that the cameras are helpful, but it can be a real thorn in the side of the person who receives it accidentally.”
While Simitian offered sympathy for victims like Gil, his legislation offers no new procedural protection.
A copy of the bill is available in a 150k PDF file at the source link below.
Senate Bill 1362 (California General Assembly, 4/6/2010)
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
- Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
- Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
- Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
- Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...
The guys said it all: the purpose of enforcement is not to generate revenue. Hence all robotic ticketing machines should be banned everywhere.
I'm surprised that scameras have not been banned by the initiative in CA.