California City Looks To Evade Laws On Redlight Cameras

from the but-look-who-benefits dept

The city of Corona, CA is apparently looking to change the way it deals with redlight camera violations in an effort to avoid having to cough up some of the money it gains from redlight fines to the state and the county. They claim that this is to lower the fines that those caught by the cameras have to pay, and are positioning it as such, but it seems that residents aren't buying it. Beyond trying to evade California laws on redlight camera violations, it actually means the city would get more cash from such violations, and has some other nefarious effects. As Jeff Nolan notes, it's also of questionable constitutionality:
The problem here is that Corona is shredding the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to a trial by jury. By reclassifying a moving violation (a traffic offense governed by the vehicle code) to an administrative violation (governed by the appropriately named government code) Corona is doing something really nefarious. In order to appeal an administrative citation you have to admit guilt, pay the full fine, and then apply for a hearing in front of an administrative official, not a judge in a court. The city could simply deny all hearings for administrative violations or schedule them far out in advance knowing full well that they have your money, which you had to pay before you could appeal.
The original article also notes that the majority of such fines are not on people running redlights directly, but people doing rolling stops before doing a right turn on red -- an action that very rarely leads to an accident. But it sure does dump lots of money in city coffers.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Big Al, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 6:37am

    Louisiana

    Traffic fines from these cameras in Louisiana are classified as "civil citations". The problem that most residents have is the way the fines are classified and processed.

     

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  2.  
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    DS, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:07am

    Humm, we do this all the time in New York for speeding tickets and ht like. It's a win win&lose situation. A win for the locality, but a win&lose for the person caught.

    But, if you do a rolling right on red, you are probably the same type of idiot who creeps up on the red light, but sits there when it turns green.

    And it absolutely should be a ticket-able offense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Whisk33, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Title Change

    Should be "Californian city" California City is a different city

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    illinois

    illinois does this for all moving violations, if I recall correctly.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:44am

    Its about time for another .......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    (Repitition)

    This, like almost all problems, can be solved with proper application of explosives. ;P

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    So much for "By the people for the people" is now "by the government for themselves and corporations". Its about time to do something about it before it is too late, if it isn't already!

     

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  8.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    Cuts both ways

    If citizens simply refuse to pay, it will be interesting to see how much support the city gets from other legal systems to enforce their scheme. If these other folks don't get part of the loot, they may develop "hearing" problems.

     

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  9.  
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    Ron (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 8:03am

    Re: Cuts both ways

    I wondered the same thing. If this is no longer a vehicle code violation, then the CA DMV would have no interest in enforcing the fine nor should it appear on the driver's record. And, if you're not a resident of the city, then you could probably just give 'em a Bronx Cheer when the notice of the fine comes in the mail.

     

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  10.  
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    interval, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 8:18am

    The headline makes it sound as though the story was about "California City", an actual city here. Well, actually, its more of a gas station in the Mojave Desert. But for a second there I thought there was actual news in that grease spot.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Californians are already on to it.

    highwayrobbery

    I think LoL

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Californians are already on to it.

    highwayrobbery

    Quote from the site:

    "A tiny change in the length of the yellow can have a huge effect on the quantity of violations. The economic effect is so significant that some recent red light camera contracts - those in Roseville, Citrus Heights, Corona, and Bell Gardens - appear to provide for a monetary penalty against the city if city traffic engineers lengthen the yellows."

    I think this whole traffic tickets thing have morfed into a business a long time ago.

     

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  13.  
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    thomas, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    Not about safety

    Red light cameras have nothing to do with safety; it is all about collecting money plain and simple. Often towns also cut the length of the yellow, thus making it easier to catch people who expect a reasonable time to stop.

    Traffic accidents go up with red light cameras, people get rear-ended more often.

    They should just be honest and simply put up tollbooths. or something like the eZpass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    dorp, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re:

    And it absolutely should be a ticket-able offense.

    You missed the point entirely, moron.

     

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  15.  
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    Xacto01, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Re:

    There is now

     

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  16.  
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    anont, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 9:40am

    I think in oregon you have the right to have the accuser testify that you commited the offense. Therefore if you show up in court after being caught by a redlight camera, they have to throw it because a camera cannot testify.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Ha Ha I used to live in Corona, and I have to say while what they are doing is very underhanded I have to say I'm impressed I didn't think the city was that clever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Criminal Offense?

    Since there is no court involved, what do they do if you don't pay? Take you to court? They cannot garnish your wages without a court order. Just don't pay, never admit guilt, and dispute the charge then. It makes sense to claim you did not file an appeal since you have to admit guilt to do so and you did not pay because you dispute the charge.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 10:22am

    Re: Criminal Offense?

    AMEN!

    See you in court!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Comboman (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Corona...

    "Corona, Miles Away from Ordinary"
    Apparently also miles away from ethical.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Criminal Offense?

    Since there is no court involved, what do they do if you don't pay? Take you to court?

    There's no *criminal* court involved. That doesn't keep them from getting a judgment against you in *civil* court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Raptor85, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Confused me too...

    I thought this was a story on Cal city as well...land-wise the city is actually pretty big (absolutely huge actually...just miles in between some houses) and a lot of people in so-cal are aware of it...mostly for the fact that they cut a shitload of roads for new development and never did anything with it.

    In response to the article though...sounds like it's about time to take a trip down to Corona with a truck and a sawzall

     

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  23.  
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    johnney (profile), Sep 24th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    I think the "lowering of the fine" does not negate court fees, it simply puts more of the money in the city's pockets.
    I agree that these redlight tickets are nothing more than ANOTHER scam on society and imo, ALL disputed tickets should not have to be payed in advance to dispute them.
    Just remember, once you physically enter the court building, you are now agreeing with their rules and under their overall authority.
    Unfortunately, unless you have 'professional' pics and drawings and are able to concisely explain why you are not at fault, without making a single error in the process, the judge will always side with the cop or camera as it were.
    I, for one, am perfectly willing to tell any court in the country what they can do with the driver's license in question. "Please go ahead and shove my license up your collective asses"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Title Change

    No, the title is correct. It is a city in California. Yes, it's also a Californian city.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    DO SOMETHING, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    HOW LONG WILL WE DO NOTHING ??

    do none of you realize that someone or some entity is going for the quick million to make as much as possible and then to bail out?

    I mean, someone benefits and gets this money. It ends up somewhere. That means someone is planning this sort of thing. Someone is intentionally dealing to get any law or mandate that helps enrich their cause passed. That means that not only is the red light law bad, but so are the countless other laws that were made to get to the red light law with the intention of deepening someone or something's pockets.

    WILL YOU JUST SIT THERE IDLY BY AND LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL THE END OF TIME?

    HOW LONG WILL AMERICANS TAKE THIS ABUSE?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Marcos, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Do it for SAFETY, not PROFIT

    I'm all for red light cameras to increase SAFETY, not government profits. If Brazil can do it right, why the hell can't we? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8p-9t7E-Zs

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Pedestrian, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re: Do it for SAFETY, not PROFIT

    I agree 100% -- do it for safety.

    My wife and I take a walk every evening and at least 2-3 times a week we're almost squashed by people turning right on a red light.

    These people are making "California Stops" (slowing down, but not coming to a complete stop) when they do this, but the problem is they only look left for oncoming traffic. They rarely or never look right for pedestrians. We often have to jump out of the way of one of these cretins who seldom, if ever, even notice us as they speed by.

    It got so bad at one intersection in my town that the road department installed a "No Turn on Red" sign that lights up when a pedestrian pushes the walk button. The sign as been there now for almost a year, but from observation, only about 20% of drivers obey it--the others continue to make their rolling California stops without looking right for pedestrians (usually while holding a cell phone to their ear, which is also illegal in California).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    TechHenry, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Here's another California secret

    If you live in California or ever visit, you need to know how to deal with Snitch Tickets, fake/phishing red light camera tickets sent out by some California police departments to bluff the registered owner into ID'ing the actual driver of the car. (Unlike most other states, where camera tickets are "owner responsibility," California's camera tickets are "driver responsibility.") Corona is one of the 30+ California cities using Snitch Tickets. Snitch Tickets haven't been filed with the court so they don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's address, and say (on the back, in small letters), "Do not contact the court." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. If in doubt, Google the term.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Dave, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Do it for SAFETY, not PROFIT

    Kick in the car's side panel if you get a chance as they turn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    Better solution

    Find out what the Mayor drives.
    Get a picture of their license plate.
    Rent a car like the mayor's.
    Tape a print out of their license over the rental's plate.
    Zip through a bunch of lights near the mayor's house.
    Repeat with the rest of the city council.
    Suddenly, a jury trial will seem like a good idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Wise on, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Better solution

    Where can you rent a BMW or Mercedes?
    V

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Wise one, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    Re:

    In my state, all defendants are always entitled to trial by jury (of 12). When you get a parking tkt and demand trial by jury, the prosecutor has to balance the costs of jury amongst other things, against the possible income they MIGHT receive IF they secure a conviction. Lots of charges go away at this stage.

    In your states where you have "administrative" offences, its because YOU let it happen. Presumably YOU won't do anything about it either but just complain, upon deaf ears who will give you a snow job if you're loud enough, which you WILL buy, because you're unable to recognize a snow job when it's right in front of your face.

    America is quickly becoming a terrible place to be because for whatever excuses, its citizens won't DO anything to maintain or restore real American values which are thus converted into administrative "values" to pay administrators salaries...

    V

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 8:35pm

    Question

    If you come up on an intersection with a red light cam and a short amber, and the light catches you 30 feet from the intersection and you lay rubber right up to the stop line, then the guy behind you rams you into the intersection, who gets the ticket?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 8:56pm

    I used to live in Corona, and these red light cameras are a major traffic hazard. Everyone knows where they are, and everyone knows that you won't get a fair deal if they snap your picture, so everyone GUNS IT when the light goes yellow - they do whatever it takes to get out of the intersection, whether safe or not. It's a major safety issue, and they need to be taken down.

    Also, EVERYONE in California does "California stops" -- it's perfectly normal there, and quite safe as long as you're not an idiot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    sspeedracer, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:28pm

    apparently corona mayor is starting an anti redlight camera group in facebook. for the life of me i cant find it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jul 23rd, 2010 @ 11:44am

    RED LIGHT CAMERA

    Hello little fun facts.

    one: red light camera's are in violation of the 6th Amendment
    two: Anyone showing up on behalf of the ticket is hearsay. An Sworn officer has to be present to witness the violation.
    three: if you do go to court request the following information, Digital time stamp of the camera's recordings to the time of the violation, if it is off by 1 second they can't fine you. This means request the server logs for the NTP (Nation Time Protocol) records. (This is just to cause them grief)

    since I am a 20 year vet of computer network security I can run circles round how these camera's are not recording correctly, which they are not in all cases the time stamp does not match the actual time of violation. But that is all mute from what I said above.

    Constitutional Law trump’s State and city ordnances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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