California Governor Sides With Red Light Camera Companies

The Newspaper
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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.


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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Oct 11, 2011

    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.

  • Jmatt Jmatt on Oct 11, 2011

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

    • Creamy Creamy on Oct 12, 2011

      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.

  • MaintenanceCosts "But your author does wonder what the maintenance routine is going to be like on an Italian-German supercar that plays host to a high-revving engine, battery pack, and several electric motors."Probably not much different from the maintenance routine of any other Italian-German supercar with a high-revving engine.
  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.