Skip to comments.Red-light cameras boost coffers, rile drivers (Calif. fine is $480)
Posted on 02/05/2012 7:25:54 PM PST by WilliamIII
California has the most expensive red-light camera tickets in the world - the fine is so steep that one camera in Oakland generates more than $3 million a year - and a Fremont man is launching a protest group to do something about that.
If Roger Jones has his way, that freezing dread that knifes through a driver the moment he sees the overhead flash of a traffic camera will become a thing of the past.
But he's facing quite an uphill fight against officials hungry for the cash the cameras sweep in and police who are convinced they make the roads safer.
Anyone in California snapped violating a red light pays a fine of $480, and according to the traffic-watch site TheNewspaper.com, no other jurisdiction anywhere has a tab that high. The second-highest fine in the United States is $250, and it is usually more like $100.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
As someone who has fought and won (had dismissed) a red light camera ticket, I get quite a chuckle when I drive through parts of Santa Ana and Anaheim and see all the cameras smashed and mutilated. Those folks don’t mess around.
I live in Southern Cal, and I was in a traffic intersection turning left a couple of weeks ago. The bright white strobe light went off as I progressed through my turn. Seeing the strobe light made me look quickly at the traffic light - which was a yellow arrow.
I’m waiting now to see if I get one of these very expensive tickets in the mail. If I do, I might suck up my pride and go to traffic court to protest the ticket.
Too expensive and not calibrated correctly.
Simple solution. burn them down or blow them up.
When the cost of replacing them becomes higher than the revenue anticipated then magically there will be no “safety” need for them.
I don’t necessarily mind red-light or speed cameras. If the speed of the road is well known and is reasonable, if you’re willing to speed, you deserve a ticket.
However, government officials are also obligated to be fair as to how they go about issuing the tickets. The tickets should be straight-up in how they were issued.
Spend the 250 bucks and get a real “big brother” detector. Mine picks up 14 different signals and has a database of all red-light cameras. The thing picks up trains to ambulances and all in-between. It is my safe-detector. (GPS controlled)
How dare you? Government officials are beyond reproach and always have been. You certainly don't know your place.
Those asshats hide in my neighborhood in the sticks to watch for a stop roll or turn signal. Believe me they will do it with 6” of snow on the ground. My saving grace is they are to dependent on that stupid box on their dash and never turn it off. Any airman can beat that. :^)
There are sprays that claim they block the camera’s by overexposing the photo.
I would assume for it to work you would have to keep the plate really clean , not sure how it works in the daytime.
I have paid a couple of these in Washington DC, and really do not recall that I was going that fast, but going to Dc to fight a losing battle against people who only want my money isn’t in my plan. My plan is to go around DC and not through it any more. It’s a money making scam, that’s for sure.
to hell with paying for all those expensive gadgets. I don’t have a front license plate and my rear plate is obstructed on my work truck. Highway patrol has yet to pull me over for it (knock on wood).
I’m just a pip.
They don’t. Ask the camera a question then proceed with hostile witness preparations. Before you know it the camera gets thirty days in this stupid world.
It’s a civil fine, not a criminal charge. No points on your license. You don’t have most of those rights because it’s simply a civil fine.
That's what they thought in AZ. Camera's destroyed + ignored summons = abandoned camera policy.
Yes and No. It may be a civil fine but if you get ticketed for rolling a stop and the citing officer is a no show, you win. Explain that.
Yeah I see a lot of trucks with dirty tags you cannot read,
I guess the fine for it is much cheaper than $480 bucks.
Where red light or speeding cameras are used, the probability of getting caught approaches certainty. Therefore, smaller fines would produce the same deterrence effect, as large fines and no camera.
Of course, if the real government objective is revenue generation ....
There are still a LOT of cameras in AZ. Only the state Highway Patrol stopped using them. Most cities have them. Payson has one set up so that the speed limit drops as you crest the hill, and 20 yards past that is the camera. Fine was over $200...unless you were a local, you wouldn’t know about the speed limit drop in time to avoid a ticket.
Not sure there is one here is the US, but in England there is: http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm
They are illegal in NJ
Friend of mine got stopped for having a filter to block
the camera on license plates
Know of several others been nailed for same
Cops will stop you if see this.
40th St and Pecos still has one. Phoenix AZ
You would be amazed at all the illegal things the cities do to try to keep their coffers full.
It’s considered a “parking ticket” in most jurisdictions because a private company runs the cameras. When an officer issues the ticket, it’s a criminal offense.
You will find that places using the cameras have changed their laws to allow traffic violation to be prosecuted either way, civil or criminal.
A civil infraction carries a much lower burden of proof, facilitating the tax collections.
It is not a “criminal offense” to disobey a static symbol. Check again.
I have read many studies that traffic accidents have increased because many of the towns intentionally reduced yellow light time to increase the amount of tickets. This forces a person to quickly decide based on how far they are from the intersection to gun it through the intersection, but with the smaller time they will get nailed. A person who has been nailed this way a couple of times may try to stop quickly (but not have enough time at that speed to stop in time and get rear ended.
Aunt Polgara, I replied specifically to you on this because I liked the Belgariad reference.
No thanks, I’m satisfied with my posts.
By trickery...they have special “training” for an officer to review the photos, and he issues the ticket.
The evasion of the hearsay rule is serious bidness, and sufficient reason to demand that these things be removed. Even if they did reduce accidents. Which they don’t.
Dont give the gubmint an inch because they will then take a mile.Wake up.
are illegal aliens exempted?
A $100 Tom-Tom will warn of traffic cameras etc. if you set up the alarm on the unit.
Gotta feed the Dragon or the Dragon eats you.
I assume there is a website dedicated to pictures of destroyed traffic cameras?
Here’s the U.K. site. They “set them alight” using an “accelerant” and/or an old tyre. I’ve also seen them in Texas become “victims” of gunfire!
Absolutely: YOU MUST GO TO COURT AND FIGHT THE TICKET.
FYI...These traffic cameras are not owned and operated by the cities or counties, but private companies that service, maintain and process the pictures and videos.
To wit, I received a ticket from a traffic camera (in El Monte) and even recalled seeing the flash and believed that it must have been taking a photo of another vehicle since I had violated any traffic laws. To my suprise, I recieved a ticket about 2 weeks later with a website address included for me to view the video footage of my violation. I KNEW that I hadn’t committed an infraction, and went to the website, viewed the “footage” and realized that it was BS ticket because the camera was not properly calibrated nor was the photo accurately reviewed by some private, minimum wage jackass. It was obvious from the video that I had made a complete stop prior to making a right-hand turn on a red-light. I went to court and contested the ticket. The judge was familiar with this particular camera and believed it was probably bogus as well, and then waived the ticket.
So fight the damn ticket. It’s probably bogus. It’s just unfortunate that so many people are so damn weak-kneed about it and don’t fight it, which is why these cameras are so damn popular.
“are illegal aliens exempted?”
Don’t about the other “56” states, but I’m pretty damn sure they are exempted here in Mexifornia.
About a dozen years back, Begich got all these red light cams in Anch; going to make all kinds of bucks. People started shooting them, destroying them, begich got voted out over his dumbness. The company from AZ pulled them and headed back south, made city pay a fee for them doing so. State legislature passed a law making red light cams illegal in Alaska. No more talk about those cameras and everytime I remind Begich people about his cams, they always tell me Mark has always said it was his biggest mistake ever, ha ha.
The claim is that red light cameras are for safety, but I would dispute this. It was clear that Houston was using them as a revenue enhancement scheme when the yellow light times got to be ridiculously short. The result was more rear end collisions.
When I lived in Seattle, I went through a red-light camera on my way home from band practice. I learned that I can go the speed limit up to the last second, brake hard (stopping short of the stop line) and get the camera to flash me every time. It anticipates I’m gonna run the light.
It’s a bit comical that the lions share of tickets generated at these lights are for “California stops” when people plan on taking a free right turn. And that type of ticket requires a “video” of the infraction to prove you did not come to a full stop. It’s why my actions were safe. The video clearly shows my coming to a full and complete stop without entering the intersection by so much as an inch.
And on Youtube you can see some people’s videos that “proved” their guilt. In many cases, they are on deserted roads and come virtually to a complete stop - but not quite. The cameras are very unforgiving.
—Ive also seen them in Texas become victims of gunfire!—
I woman I used to work with had come to Seattle from Arizona. She claimed to have taken a couple out with her glock. Considering the type of person she was, I believed her.
When I lived in the Seattle area I noticed that they were all on relatively narrow aluminum poles. I always fantasized about riding a bicycle to them with a mall and a rope. You could give a good swing with the mall to crimp the bottom of the pole and then lasso the top of the pole and pull it down. At least, I’m guessing it would work.
Sort of related.
Whe were able to drive on the toll roads in one state with impunity without paying the tolls because we had out of state plates and were moving to another state. When we got to our new home we licensed our car in that state. It will be interesting to see if technology has caught up with that sort of license movement yet. It was a sort of test.
I believe that in every single instance where the presence of the cameras is put to a vote of the people, the people vote to have them removed.
—Its considered a parking ticket in most jurisdictions because a private company runs the cameras.—
I understand that in some states you can ignore them and there is really nothing they can do. The private company will even send it to collections but because you never agreed to pay, there is really nothing, legally, to collect.
In other states, the situation is similar, but the state will revoke your drivers license if you ignore these tickets. IIRC.
Houston voters overturned City Council and the Mayor and had the red-light cameras turned off and taken down.
—The claim is that red light cameras are for safety, but I would dispute this—
It’s easy to dispute, since most tickets are for rolling stops before making a free right turnd. That activity is not even all that dangerous. It is the people going THROUGH the intersection that these are being advertized to prevent.
And in one city in Texas they turned off the cameras and the accident rate went DOWN. The city was so embarrassed that they tried to argue that they just had really good weather so there were less accidents.
It is ALL about money. Safety is not even a red herring, because even a red herring has “some” credibility.
I agree. EVERYBODY should fight these damn things. Flood the courts with not guilty pleas and this crap would stop.
L.A. City Council shuts down red-light cameras headline from a July 28, 2011 a LA Times story.