Legislators, Lawyers Winning Fight to Render Red Light Cameras Useless
|Bill would make it easier to get away with this|
But safety minded bureaucrats are apparently no match for state legislators and plaintiffs attorneys sympathetic to motorists who receive citations based on red light camera evidence. The state senate, with the help of aye votes by San Franciscans Leland Yee and Mark Leno, has approved a bill that would undermine cities' ability to use cameras to protect people from motorists blowing red lights.
According to legendary Bee columnist Walters, (like your host, an alumnus of the defunct Sacramento Union):
The Senate has approved, 31-1, legislation by Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto to impose much tighter standards on local governments that contract with the private firms for the cameras. The measure, Senate Bill 1362, was stalled -- at least temporarily -- this week in the Assembly Transportation Committee after local government officials complained that its enactment would effectively wipe out the cameras' use by giving motorists additional weapons to fight their tickets. But the committee approved another bill that would reduce fines for illegal right-hand turns on red lights, which comprise the vast majority of red-light camera tickets.
A milestone on the legal front occurred in Orange County in May when a three-judge appellate panel, in a published decision, declared that red-light camera photos are hearsay, rather than direct, evidence and therefore inadmissible.
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