Green light for red-light camera reforms

Simitian bill signed into law

Goodbye, snitch tickets. The latest version of State Sen. Joe Simitian's red-light camera reform bill was signed into law by the governor on Sept. 28.

The bill, a revised version of one vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, establishes statewide standards for the installation and operation of red-light cameras, and makes it easier to challenge unjustified tickets.

The new law requires that camera locations be chosen solely on the basis of safety rather than revenue considerations; regulates operation and signage; and prohibits "snitch tickets," which some police departments such as Menlo Park's have used to try to coerce recipients into identifying drivers in photos when the camera's shot is unclear.

"I am extremely pleased that the Governor has signed this bill, which will help restore public confidence in the use and fairness of red-light cameras," Sen. Simitian, D-Palo Alto, said in a press release. "Red-light cameras can be an important public safety tool, but they shouldn't be abused. This bill will establish important ground rules, (and) ensure that if drivers get a ticket that they shouldn't have, they can contest the ticket easily. It will put driver safety, rather than the revenue, first."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Henry
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2012 at 9:23 am

Simitian's bill doesn't stop the snitch tickets, despite what the Senator claims.

Every motorist in California needs to know about Snitch Tickets, the fake/phishing red light camera tickets sent out by California police to bluff the registered owner into identifying the actual driver of the car. (In NorCal, Citrus Hts, Daly City, Elk Grove, Hayward, Marysville, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Modesto, Newark, Redding, San Mateo, San Leandro, South SF and Stockton use them.) Snitch Tickets have not been filed with the court, so they don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's addr. and phone #, and usually say (on the back, in small letters), "Do not contact the court about this notice." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight whatsoever. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. If in doubt, Google the term. And once you understand how tricky a Snitch Ticket is, tell your friends who live in or visit California about them, so that they won't get tricked.

Also, a REAL camera ticket from ANY city in LA County can be ignored, as the LA courts do not report ignored tickets to the DMV. (This was revealed in multiple LA Times articles last summer. It is applicable ONLY to cities in LA county.)

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