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.