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Original post made
on Aug 29, 2012
What's wrong with using red-light cameras to raise revenue, besides monitoring safety? If someone runs a red light, anywhere, they deserve to get a ticket, period. If speed limits on the freeways were enforced, the state could get out of its budget jam. On Freeway 80 to Sacramento, it seems like half to 2/3 of the drivers are speeding more than 5 mph over the speed limit.
The bill also specifies that evidence from a red-light camera is not "hearsay" and can be used as evidence in a court of law.
That's really funny. The California legislature cannot override constitutional law upheld by the Supreme Court that has repeatedly mandated that the pictures from these cameras cannot be used to convict a driver of a criminal infraction unless s/he has the opportunity to cross-examine the people who maintain the camera (in Menlo Park's case, an Australian company). If someone receiving a ticket knows the correct arguments to make, without fail the tickets will get dismissed by the San Mateo courts.
Charlie, I'll tell you what's wrong with using red light cameras to raise revenue. Red light cameras
* Contributed to a 4.9 per cent increase in fatal and injury rear-end collisions; and
* Contributed to a 49.9 per cent increase in property damage only rear-end collisions.
The rear-end collision results are similar to findings in other red light camera studies."
Red light cameras are a net loss to society.
Since it looks like the cameras are not going away any time soon, here is info on how to cope with them.
1. Educate your friends about Snitch Tickets, so that they don't respond to them. What are Snitch Tickets?
They are fake/phishing red light camera tickets mailed out by California police to fool the registered owner into identifying the actual driver of the car. One city sends out about 10,000 of them annually. (Citrus Hts, Daly City, Elk Grove, Hayward, Marysville, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Newark, Redding, San Mateo, San Leandro and South SF do it.) 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.
2. Also let you friends know that REAL tickets issued by cities in LA County can be ignored, because the LA County court does not report ignored tickets to the DMV. (Please also emphasize to your friends that this info applies only to tickets from cities that are in LA County.) Skeptical? Google red light camera voluntary.
If you take the time to educate your friends about these things, you may find that suddenly you are eating better. A lot of people will be buying you lunch after they realize that you have just saved them $500.
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