By on April 24, 2015

Red light camera in Beaverton, Oregon

The bane of many a motorist and freedom advocate alike, the red light camera’s days may be drawing to a close as more governments move to ban them.

Over the past two months alone, legislators in California, Illinois and Texas have moved to do away with the devices based on both civil rights and financial concerns, Business Insider reports. The bans in California and Texas would be statewide if made into law, while Illinois’ ban would only apply to suburbs outside of Chicago and other communities with local authority.

The three states join 10 others that have imposed bans on red light cameras and another 19 that never bothered with the issue in the first place. The devices have garnered criticism from those who were caught by them, then received tickets in the mail, all without a chance to defend themselves under due process.

Meanwhile, the cities that once had them in place – such as the majority of the 110 municipalities in California that used red light cameras; only 39 of the 110 remain currently – took them down when they found that revenue from tickets issued didn’t do much to fill the coffers in the first place.

[Photo credit: Chris Phan/Flickr]

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62 Comments on “More Legislators Move To Ban Red Light Cameras...”


  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Bummer. I like them. I see folks running red lights every day and a lot of resultant horn honking. Luckily I’ve missed all the death & mayhem that sometimes results.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t run red lights.

      BAN SPEED CAMERAS.

    • 0 avatar
      LuciferV8

      I hate them intensely, and I am ecstatic to see them go.

      Seriously.

      This news today for me is like finding out that a cancer-stricken dear friend has just been told by the doctor that after months of treatment, all the recent tests showed up negative, the tumors are gone and they can now officially end treatment and get on with their lives.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Why? It’s just a simple instrument enforcing widely accepted rules.

        • 0 avatar
          Slave2anMG

          Except that it’s not about laws. It’s about revenue. If it was indeed about enforcing laws the many cities that have removed them would have kept them in place…but they found the revenue stream lacking after the private companies skimmed their load off the top.

          if the towns ran them as true law enforcement devices I wouldn’t detest the cameras quite as much.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Denver

          Wrong. Most red light tickets are not issued to people who are actually running fully red lights. They catch suckers who are stuck in an intersection when the light turns yellow. Often the camera operators cut down the time on the yellow in order to generate more tickets. The cameras have been found to cause MORE accidents – people slam on the brakes and cause rear end collisions. In places where they are used they do nothing for road safety. They are purely intended as money makers.

          Traffic rules (such as speed limits) work best when they reflect real world behavior – only people who are operating outside of socially accepted norms should be punished. One of those norms is that even after a light turns fully red, some people (esp. those making left turns) need a few more seconds to get thru the intersection. The people with the green light are fully aware of this and wait until the cross traffic fully stops before they begin moving. They get their own grace period when their light turns red so its fair to everyone. And very few accidents result because everyone is aware of the rules of the game.

          IF the cameras were set not to issue tickets for say 5 seconds after the light turned red, I would have no problem with them. BUT if they did that, they would make little if any money off of them, so they don’t set them that way.

          People who are egregious red light runners – who go right thru fully red intersections in the middle of the cycle and T bone the cross traffic, are usually drunk or impaired and a red light camera won’t deter them.

          • 0 avatar
            otter

            If you rear-end somebody at an intersection where the light is yellow and turning red, it is not the camera’s fault, and it is not the fault of the driver of the car in front – it is the fault of the driver who rear-ends the other car. If you can’t stop in time to avoid hitting the car in front of you, you are either going too fast or not maintaining a safe following distance.

          • 0 avatar
            Michael500

            You are correct Jack Denver. Anyone that likes the idea of red-light-cameras is a stupid IDIOT, or a member of a greedy city council. Ventura, CA just renewed their contract. Any voter there that re-elects that city council is an idiot. Just like the many stupid people in Walnut, CA that kept re-electing that corrupt city council. These cameras are about taxing/money, not safety. No, there is no argument to justify them, don’t reply to me if you are an idiot.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Many of them also lop a full second off the yellow time so a regular intersection gives you four second and a red light intersection gives you all of three seconds to make it through the yellow.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Here in Saskatchewan, you have to enter the intersection after it turns red to get a ticket. You get a picture of your vehicle not yet in the intersection with the light having just turned red, and then a second picture of you continuing to drive through the red light.

            I have no problem with red light cameras as long as they don’t reduce the yellow time to generate more revenue at the expense of public safety. I don’t like that they ticket rolling right turns though, and I’m not fond of speed cameras.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      You actually have no idea what you are talking about .

  • avatar
    otter

    I think it is unfortunate that so many municipalities conceived of red-light cameras as revenue-generation devices rather than traffic-safety devices, which is what they really are and what they should be used as. I see people running red lights every single day that I am out, and those people are a threat to everyone around them, especially those who are not in cars.

  • avatar
    John R

    Good riddance. It became a tax collection device as soon as muni’s had the idea to shorten the yellow light phase and punish people for behaving normally turning right on red.

    Illinois cracks me up, though. “Let get rid of the tax collection cameras everywhere save for the areas where the “fines” have the most severity on people’s incomes.”

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      It’s just like anything else that can be used for good or bad, depending on the intentions and objectives of those using it.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Intentions mean nothing.

        The communists had good intentions – they just wanted to make the world a better place full of fairness and equality.

        The Islamists have good intentions – they just want to do Allah’s will.

        You know what they say about using intentions as paving material.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          When did communists have good intentions? The original Bolsheviks seized power and ruled in a top down pyramid structure while murdering the foolish peasants who helped them revolt.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Those dead ‘foolish peasants’ were the real communists with good intentions, who trusted the wrong people.
            Not much worse than the foolish peasants voting for the most expensive campaign in a democracy…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think many were simply pushed to the breaking point and needed change, I doubt many of them had real political affiliations or even understood politics given their nil education and limited intelligence. You make a nice second point.

          • 0 avatar

            There were a lot of different communists in different places, and like H. sapiens everywhere, some had good intentions, and some had malign intentions. My friend, Sidney Rittenberg (who at a robust 92 has had by far the most interesting life of anyone I know, including being a higher up in Red Chinese propaganda, and being in solitary there for 16 years in two different stints), was for many years a communist, with the best of intentions (he ultimately quit the party and came home). My father for some years considered becoming a communist–with the best of intentions–but he ultimately (in the ’40s) became disillusioned with the Soviet Union.

    • 0 avatar
      LuciferV8

      “Good riddance. It became a tax collection device as soon as muni’s had the idea to shorten the yellow light phase and punish people for behaving normally turning right on red.”

      Oh no! What are you saying?

      Think about the CHILDREN!!!

      Last night, I saw some ZombieMechaHitler in a Hyundai Sonata make a slow rolling right on red without coming to a full stop. Directly because of this, about 1,500 doe-eyed little orphan third graders burst into flames on the spot. If only a red light camera were there, these innocent lives could have been saved.

      Shame on you.

    • 0 avatar

      Communists are ultimate democrats: free education, free health care superior to US, free apartments, fairness and equality, no racial hatred, feeling safe. What not to like about communists?

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I don’t think I mind the idea of red light cameras for law enforcement and safety. I have been conditioned, however, to distrust my government at most levels. The distrust here stems from perceived shortening of the yellow lights that should constitute entrapment. I also distrust situations where the cash collection and program administration is done by a third party.

    I may be wrong all the way around but I will not be sorry to see them go and I understand they have been removed in my town.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Chicago is huge on cameras + shortening the yellow. I can get behind busting people driving unsafely, but not when they modify the rules to achieve $$.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      I was in Chicago a few weeks ago on a business trip. The yellow lights blew me away, they had to only be 1 second long. Also the random speed bumps on city streets. Ok, ok, we get it… you don’t like motorists!

      • 0 avatar
        otter

        No, it’s not that we don’t like motorists – it’s that we don’t like them blasting down neighborhood streets at 40mph. Hence the speed bumps. Speed bumps can be installed on a given residential block if enough people who live on that block agree to it and ask their alderman for it.

        • 0 avatar
          RazorTM

          I hate speed bumps even more than red light cameras. If people are really being jackasses on the road, then the police need to ramp up enforcement in that area. Don’t punish the rest of us!

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Speed bumps have got to be the single stupidest thing anyone one has created in the world of road infrastructure. So because you want people to slow down, you are willing to destroy your suspension? The people that live on the speed bumped street are the ones that are going to go over them most often. I think that anyone suggests them needs to be sterilized so that whatever gene causes such a case of idiocy gets eliminated from the overall gene pool.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s not that they were *speeding* on the streets with speed bumps. These residents are A$$HOLES. And too STUP!D to notice they were buying a house on a busy street. Mostly 2 and 3 story tract houses with little to no front or back yards. So they want commuters to use others streets or slow down to a 5 mph trickle.

        • 0 avatar
          CarPerson

          Speed bumps, NO.
          Speed humps, YES.

          • 0 avatar
            otter

            I’d agree with that one, actually. I tend to sort of lump them all together. To DenverMike’s comment – no. Where I live, at least, speed humps (that’s what they are, really) are not installed on “busy streets” – they’re installed on narrow, usually one-way residential streets with a limit of, usually, 20mph. On my way home last night I watched someone (again) roll a stop sign on such a street at about 20mph and then continue on down the block at probably 40. You cannot have a police officer on every block at all times, but you can have a speed hump there.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Well, here is a new and good one for you: In the Seattle area, one of the 2 main N-S freeways is going to change their HOV lanes to 3+ or pay lanes. The really cool part: approximately 80% of the fines and pay to play monies will go to the Texas company that puts it together. Yay. Sometimes I am convinced that a lot of people in power just do stuff to f— with us poor proles.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      And that’s not even the half of it. The existing electronic toll (“good-to-go”) passes which work for all other WA tolls (Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Hwy. 520 floating bridge, Hwy. 167 HOT lane) CANNOT be turned off if you want to drive on the new I-405 HOT lanes without being charged, when you are a valid carpool.

      My existing switchable pass (so I could do the same on the existing 167 HOT lanes) won’t even work. The system will still take a photo of my license plate and mail me a bill on the new 405 HOT lanes.

      So now I have to pay $15 each to get all-new “flex-passes” for each of my vehicles (my old switchable passes could be used in multiple vehicles).

      The incompetence of government is beyond description. One thing is for sure – they set up the system in their favor, so the clueless drivers will be getting billed whether they should be or not.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      They’re not wasting any time thinking about the proles. They just want that suitcase full of money.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Public traded companies have no business in law enforcement, even civil enforcement.

    When one dives into the numbers and math, this is a tax on the stupid and nothing more.

    There is a growing mountain of data that the lights do nothing to prevent injuries and increase total number of accidents (lower speed rear ending for the most part, some wicked rear endings move the injury numbers back to parity).

    Communities that were promised fountains of cash, as well as improved safety got neither. After paying contracts and leases for the equipment, the publicly traded providers got 90% of the revenue, the city got 10%, and quickly found themselves paying out more than they were collecting.

    The review process in most cases was an officer being a robot at a desk, clicking, “yup” on picture after picture after picture.

    The appeals process didn’t exist – oh you could appeal and you’d be told, “it doesn’t go on your record or count against your insurance, so if we cut it down just pay it alright.”

    Cities played around with yellow light timing, illegally sometimes, creating dangerous conditions that increased accidents. In certain urban areas (like Seattle) drivers watched with outrage as cyclists blew through red light intersections with impunity, even though existing laws would mean they too should be ticketed.

    It’s a farce – just as the quieting whimper that on rural interstates speed kills – or that the highways are red with blood from the texting and driving epidemic. About 1 person a day dies nationally from texting and driving – yes it’s one too many, but when you look at the resources dedicated to solving this, ehem, problem, it is a vast waste of resources. Evidence is mounting that as long as the raised speed limit is safe for general conditions and the highway, fatalities go down, not up. We aren’t sure why but the theory is the driver moving faster pays attention more and is more engaged to driving.

    Lets face it. Traffic enforcement 80% of the time has nothing, zero, zilch to do with safety. It has everything to do with revenue.

    Some clever private enterprises figured out how to siphon off of the municipal tax for the stupid gravy train, and the communities got a taste of their own medicine and/or the corruption in the system got laid bare.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      The private companies are not the problem; they are just doing the bidding of the cities that hire them. Lots of municipal government mouths want to be fed, and be fed well. The cites set the ticket amounts and the take for the companies that get the contracts; the cities also set (shorten) the yellow light times to increase the revenue.

      You or I could bid on the contract to run these corrupt camera systems, but the game is set up and run by governments in their own self interest.

      • 0 avatar
        CarPerson

        “The private companies are not the problem…”

        As if! They waltz in with a stack of PowerPoints describing how the City will suddenly be buried in riches by harvesting all that traffic. Just tell the Public Works Department to STFU, fall in line, and slash the yellow and green light times.

        Select how much money you want to make and we have charts, graphs, and tables how short the lights need to be to generate the money you want.

        And by the way, think of all the good you can do with all that money FOR THE CHILDREN!!!

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I think the legislators are just bowing to pressure. Just follow the rules and it’s not an issue. I don’t even care that it’s a revenue generator. I have little patience for those that use the yellow as OK to go through an intersection even though there is time to stop. I also am an avid bicyclist and runner. So often you have to watch and double check everything, because as soon as you enter an intersection, it is very likely that someone is still coming even though you have the green.

    I live in Chicago and the yellow lights are short. Guess what, I just learned to not go through yellow lights and I don’t push it. I moved here from DC and I remember long yellow lights and countdown timers at the cross walks. There was even a slight delay from the end of the yellow until the opposing light turned green. Drivers were always pushing through and they could.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Screw you, Melon.

    • 0 avatar
      otter

      When I moved to Chicago from Detroit it took a bit of getting used to the much shorter yellow lights (Michigan uses longer yellow, with no pause between red and the crossing green) but it’s not hard. If you have a serious problem with yellow lights in a city, you are probably going to fast. I never, ever speed in the city and I do not have problems with yellow or red lights. I got a red-light ticket for rolling a right on red once in my Fiat, but I deserved it. Lesson learned. Most tragilarious are the people who run yellow/red lights at speed and lay on the horn at the car in front of them because they are not allowing them to run the light as fast as they’d like!

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      There are engineering standards that should be used to set the length of yellow lights. If the lengths of the yellow lights are shorter than those standards, then there is a problem.

      There is no justification for not applying those engineering standards, and a deliberate initiative to have lights that are shorter than those standards would indicate that the agency in question has a goal to increase the violation rate.

      The goal should be to reduce violations, not to increase them. In effect, the short lights are a form of entrapment. In our legal system, that’s cause for dismissing cases and overturning convictions.

      • 0 avatar
        CarPerson

        You are referring to the “Kell and Fullerton” formula.

        When followed, the cameras never have a positive revenue stream and accidents fall to a base level associated with distracted, impaired, and reckless drivers.

        By the way, when selling the public on the cameras, too often the “We see drivers going 50, 60, and even 70mph through those intersections!!!” is put forth.

        What they do not tell you is that its police cars going to a call where that level of response is entirely unnecessary.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ve said it a million times before: If one specific intersection is more dangerous and people are running the red light, maybe there’s something wrong with the intersection. The intersection should be studied and fixed to prevent red light running instead of mailing tickets to people.

    If you want your law enforcement automated, let’s put a device in your car that monitors your speed via GPS so every time you exceed the speed limit you are mailed a speeding ticket. Or you could just install an in-dash printer and it can print out right there.
    If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about, right?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Shortening yellow lights is bad, m’kay?

    But we have to do something about red light running. It’s not one intersection or a few bad apples. It’s a pervasive practice that is a serious danger to other road users, especially pedestrians. I was nearly hit just half an hour ago on a Seattle city street, which I was crossing with the walk sign in a crosswalk, by a driver who ran the red light by at least 1 1/2 full seconds. And that’s a pretty much every day thing, and it was far worse when I lived in DC than it is in Seattle.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I am perfectly OK with red light cameras if they were setup correctly. You should get an automated ticket if you go through the red when the crossing street has turned green. That is the point at which it becomes dangerous. But it should also be required that any intersection with a camera gets the yellow light lengthened, not shortened, and there should be some sort of countdown. Like maybe a series of yellow lights counting down or something. 3-2-1 red, that sort of thing. I’m also a big fan of the Canadian/European practice of having the yellow go on to signal a red light changing to green too.

      Maine banned all automated ticketing some years ago, when a couple of municipalities started talking to the camera companies with dollar signs in their eyes. The state government keeps the locals on a fairly short leash when it comes to fleecing the residents.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        Unfortunately, other states aren’t nearly as enlightened as Maine. Two examples are Ohio and Florida. After the state of Florida and the red-light camera companies take their cut, the rest goes to the local municipality. This worked out okay until a Florida tv station figured out the shortened yellow-light scam and got the timing of the yellow lights extended as they were supposed to be in the first place. This had a serious detrimental impact on revenue to the point that in those places that only ran strict red light cameras (nothing on turns), it’s actually ‘costing’ them money. When first installed years ago, Haines City was raking in the cash at over 6,000 tickets per month, but they’re now down to a tenth of that. After all the administrative costs and the state and camera companies get their cut, well, suddenly the red light cameras aren’t quite as lucrative and now actually cost Haines City money to keep them in operation. Guess what, they want them taken out. Suddenly, when it costs them money, red-light safety isn’t all that important.

        Ohio is even worse. A state law requiring a cop be present at any automated camera ticketing device recently went into effect last month. As you might imagine, many Ohio cities didn’t like it. They (and the red-light camera companies) banded together and got a judge in Toledo to immediately issue an injunction to keep the cameras going on the rationale that the state is infringing on Ohio cities’ ‘home rule’.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          I think Ohio is investigation summary executions on the side of the road for speeding violations in excess of 10 MPH, that or pay a $25,000 fine, forfeit your car, and your first born to the state.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    For those who are bummed out about this, cheer up!

    If you’re looking for a Christian Grey set of traffic laws willing to gently choke the life out of your Anastasia Steele personal mobility, there are plenty of places willing to cater to your most masochistic regulatory fetishes:

    1.London, United Kingdom – Congestion charges, speed cameras, and red light cameras galore.

    2.Virginia, United States – numerous speed traps, possession of radar detectors is illegal, and if you go faster than 80mph or 20mph over the posted limit, you get thrown into the clink.

    3.Switzerland – loads of high tech speed cameras, and they fine you based on how much you earn. One Ferarri owner got hit with a $190K fine for doing 85 mph: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8446545.stm

    4.Singapore – this tiny city state has been rocking red light cameras since the 80’s, with over 240 in service today, alongside a compliment of at least 20 high tech digital speed cameras. Just getting into a car will cost you an insane amount of taxes, with the price of a basic family car being inflated to about the cost of a house:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-04/singapore-family-sedan-matches-cost-of-a-u-s-home
    If the cops catch you on a cell phone while driving, that’s a fine of $1000 (Singapore dollars) and possibly 6 months in the slammer. What’s more, screw up bad enough, and you might even get in on some sweet caning action. Rowr!

    5.Saudi Arabia – sorry fellas, but in this country, the primo delights of transportation oppression are reserved only for the ladies. Women cannot drive at all, and are are threatened with corporal punishment (by lashing, bow-chick-a-bow-wow!) and jail time if they ever even get behind the wheel.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Cities and states are keeping quiet about rear-end collisions rising at intersections with cameras installed. Shortening their yellows makes them more dangerous. It’s not about lack of revenue. They could own the cameras and other automation, cutting out the 3rd party. And places like California where it’s a criminal infraction, they must identify and show proof YOU were the driver running the red light. Too many dismissals, especially with me running the red light with an Obama mask!

    And because it’s not constitutional, you can simply ignore the mailing. Plus a peace officer has to hand it to you and identify you as the recipient. Or it’s “hey, it never received it A$$HOLES!”

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      The problem with ignoring the ‘notices of liability’ is because so many people do it, there’s a lot of money involved. The municipalities sell the unpaid fines as a whole to a collection agency who, in turn, do their utmost to harass the hell out of the people that were caught by the cameras. Worse is what it does to their credit rating, which is the eventual penalty to ignoring a camera ticket.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Is there a contractual obligation? Best to never respond to demands for free money. Once you negotiate, that’s an admission of debt.

        • 0 avatar
          rudiger

          A camera ticket not constituting any kind of contractual obligation would seem like a sound legal reason that a municipality could not turn over or sell unpaid camera tickets to a collection agency.

          OTOH, Toledo (for one) doesn’t seem to have any such issue:

          http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2015/04/08/City-aims-to-collect-more-traffic-ticket-funds.html

          It’s just like any other third-world country when government goes after those who don’t have a way to defend themselves. Yeah, maybe it’s illegal, but if they go after those who can’t defend themselves in court, who’s going to stop them? Even if it’s eventually halted, they’ve still made tons of cash in the meantime.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    The sun will never set on the day the totally deadhead comment “Just don’t run red lights!” ceases to be put forth.

    The cameras are incredibly corrosive and corrupting. Yellow and green lights are shortened and shortened again until safety dramatically falls, then shortened more until the revenue stream generates the desired numbers.

    Legal right-turn-on-red has proven to be a substantially money maker too.

    A 5.4 second yellow is engineeringly sound for 94% of all intersections in the Unite States. If the actual calculation is less than 3 seconds (possible only on a very narrow one-lane road), it MUST be rounded up to 3 seconds. Corrupt cities use it for four lanes crossing four lanes then claim it meets the 3 second minimum and boy does the cash flow.

    If you notice a pattern of red light running, park, get out, and measure the Yellow light time. You will find it 3.5 seconds or less. Now get back in your car or truck and STOP blaming drivers.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    If government wants revenue from drivers then why not install speed cameras instead? From what I understand, at least for Chicago, a big chunk of red light tickets are dismissed in court. It’s all about a corrupt government in bed with the manufacturers that install these cameras.

  • avatar
    JD23

    The city government of the town in which I reside vigorously opposed the prohibition of red light cameras while the bill was being debated in the Texas Senate. Initially, the police argued that red light cameras increase safety and that the streets would run red with the blood of toddlers (it’s all for the kids) if they were removed. Finally, city officials admitted the true cause for opposition: Eliminating the red light cameras will reduce revenues by $1.3 mil annually. Of course, the increased vigilance of mobile tax collectors will compensate for the loss of red light camera revenue.

  • avatar
    dartman

    This is the most common red light violation: You are approaching an intersection in a right turn lane, the light is red. The cars on the cross street to your right are making a left turn on a green arrow, which does not allow any pedestrians in the crosswalk. You approach slowly and safely but do not come to a complete stop (“California” stop) and complete your right turn endangering no one. However, since the camera did not detect a complete stop, one week later you receive a citation in the mail for a $400 contribution to the coffers of your fair city. Only the most jaded and sadistic cop would issue a citation under the same circumstances.

    These units were sold to cash strapped cities as sure fire way to increase revenues and enhance public safety at no cost to the city in a revenue sharing agreement. To add insult to injury, I believe the largest operator in this field was an Australian company. Good riddance to bad rubbish, and good lesson in the law of unintended consequences.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Ironically CA now has right turn, green arrows, when all other, affected traffic is stopped. Makes sense, like left turn, green arrows, that go to yellow, but that instead of going to red, allow a yield to oncoming traffic. Next they’ll treat us like adults or something???

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Rolling through red lights is illegal and not safe.

  • avatar
    dartman

    I concur…generally. The typical “California Stop” is seen at 4 way flashing lights or 4 way stop sign intersections, or the example I gave above; NOT at an intersection with clearly marked green/red or no red on right lights and signage. It is common enough that it acquired the nickname and would rarely be cited by most police officers unless the “stop” was unusually fast and showed no yield intention; think of it as a 4 way yield, where common sense and courtesy dictates who has the right of way. If every cop in CA gave tickets to people making right turns at stop lights or signs they wouldn’t have time to do anything else. This tends to be one of those idiosyncratic CA things like lane-splitting for motorcycles (totally legal if done correctly) that is widely accepted…except by red light cameras.

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