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.

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Comments on “California City Looks To Evade Laws On Redlight Cameras”

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DS says:

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.

Ron (profile) says:

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.

Raptor85 (profile) says:

Re: 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

Anonymous Coward says:

Californians are already on to it.


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.

thomas (profile) says:

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.

Wise one says:

Re: 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…


taoareyou (profile) says:

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.

johnney (profile) says:

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”



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.



Pedestrian says:

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).

TechHenry (profile) says:

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.

Jesse says:

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.

Sean says:


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.

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