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Red-light cameras boost coffers, rile drivers (Calif. fine is $480)
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | February 5 2012 | Kevin Fagan

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 ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; US: California
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1 posted on 02/05/2012 7:26:06 PM PST by WilliamIII
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To: WilliamIII

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.


2 posted on 02/05/2012 7:39:44 PM PST by Auntie Mame (Fear not tomorrow. God is already there.)
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To: WilliamIII

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.


3 posted on 02/05/2012 7:40:10 PM PST by BAW (God bless America.)
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To: WilliamIII

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.


4 posted on 02/05/2012 7:42:13 PM PST by glorgau
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To: WilliamIII

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.


5 posted on 02/05/2012 7:46:27 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: WilliamIII

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)


6 posted on 02/05/2012 7:53:52 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: Jonty30
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.

How dare you? Government officials are beyond reproach and always have been. You certainly don't know your place.

7 posted on 02/05/2012 7:57:23 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it. (plagiarized))
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To: Jonty30

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. :^)


8 posted on 02/05/2012 7:57:33 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: WilliamIII
I assume there is a website dedicated to pictures of destroyed traffic cameras?
9 posted on 02/05/2012 8:00:40 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: WilliamIII

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.


10 posted on 02/05/2012 8:01:04 PM PST by Venturer
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To: WilliamIII
"Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . How does the state get around the bold part ?
11 posted on 02/05/2012 8:01:38 PM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again.")
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To: Venturer

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).


12 posted on 02/05/2012 8:04:21 PM PST by hillarys cankles
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To: Navy Patriot

I’m just a pip.


13 posted on 02/05/2012 8:05:44 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: fella

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.


14 posted on 02/05/2012 8:05:55 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: fella

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.


15 posted on 02/05/2012 8:11:49 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: WilliamIII
".... cameras boost coffers...."

That's what they thought in AZ. Camera's destroyed + ignored summons = abandoned camera policy.

16 posted on 02/05/2012 8:14:06 PM PST by moehoward
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To: ltc8k6

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.


17 posted on 02/05/2012 8:18:34 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: hillarys cankles

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.


18 posted on 02/05/2012 8:22:02 PM PST by Venturer
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To: WilliamIII
The rationale for large fines (for speeding, running a red light, etc.) is that they are needed for a deterrence effect. That makes sense, when the probability of getting caught is low. The lower the probability of getting caught; the higher the fine needs to be.

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 ....

19 posted on 02/05/2012 8:26:08 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: moehoward

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.


20 posted on 02/05/2012 8:27:59 PM PST by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: HereInTheHeartland
I assume there is a website dedicated to pictures of destroyed traffic cameras?

Not sure there is one here is the US, but in England there is: http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm

21 posted on 02/05/2012 8:37:47 PM PST by rawhide
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To: Venturer

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.


22 posted on 02/05/2012 8:39:58 PM PST by njslim
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To: Mr Rogers

40th St and Pecos still has one. Phoenix AZ


23 posted on 02/05/2012 8:45:05 PM PST by Irish Eyes
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To: WilliamIII
How to beat a red light camera ticket:

www.highwayrobbery.net

You would be amazed at all the illegal things the cities do to try to keep their coffers full.

24 posted on 02/05/2012 8:45:13 PM PST by Aunt Polgara
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To: eyedigress

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.


25 posted on 02/05/2012 9:11:01 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: eyedigress

A civil infraction carries a much lower burden of proof, facilitating the tax collections.


26 posted on 02/05/2012 9:12:32 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: ltc8k6

It is not a “criminal offense” to disobey a static symbol. Check again.


27 posted on 02/05/2012 9:16:18 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: Aunt Polgara

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.


28 posted on 02/05/2012 9:16:40 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average In the US the number is 54%)
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To: eyedigress

No thanks, I’m satisfied with my posts.


29 posted on 02/05/2012 9:32:22 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: fella

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.


30 posted on 02/05/2012 9:38:20 PM PST by absalom01 (You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.)
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To: Jonty30

Dont give the gubmint an inch because they will then take a mile.Wake up.


31 posted on 02/05/2012 9:40:33 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: WilliamIII

are illegal aliens exempted?


32 posted on 02/05/2012 9:54:42 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Navy Patriot
Spend the 250 bucks and get a real “big brother” detector.

A $100 Tom-Tom will warn of traffic cameras etc. if you set up the alarm on the unit.

33 posted on 02/05/2012 10:18:33 PM PST by Mogollon (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: WilliamIII

Gotta feed the Dragon or the Dragon eats you.


34 posted on 02/05/2012 10:19:20 PM PST by pankot
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To: HereInTheHeartland

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!

www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm


35 posted on 02/05/2012 10:21:58 PM PST by vette6387 (Enough Already!)
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To: BAW

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.


36 posted on 02/05/2012 10:53:17 PM PST by Ernie Kaputnik ((It's a mad, mad, mad world.))
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To: GeronL

“are illegal aliens exempted?”

Don’t about the other “56” states, but I’m pretty damn sure they are exempted here in Mexifornia.


37 posted on 02/05/2012 10:56:19 PM PST by Ernie Kaputnik ((It's a mad, mad, mad world.))
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To: Ernie Kaputnik

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.


38 posted on 02/05/2012 11:08:33 PM PST by Eska
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To: WilliamIII

They’ll steal your cash ........

IN San Fran ... cisco .....

(you’ll have to apply the tune yourself)


39 posted on 02/06/2012 3:09:32 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: WilliamIII

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.


40 posted on 02/06/2012 3:56:03 AM PST by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: BAW

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.


41 posted on 02/06/2012 5:45:24 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: vette6387

—I’ve 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.


42 posted on 02/06/2012 5:48:19 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: vette6387

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.


43 posted on 02/06/2012 5:50:17 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Venturer

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.


44 posted on 02/06/2012 5:53:04 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: moehoward

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.


45 posted on 02/06/2012 5:54:14 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: ltc8k6

—It’s 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.


46 posted on 02/06/2012 5:58:30 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Fred Hayek

Houston voters overturned City Council and the Mayor and had the red-light cameras turned off and taken down.


47 posted on 02/06/2012 6:03:20 AM PST by 38special (It's a no-win situation.)
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To: Fred Hayek

—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.


48 posted on 02/06/2012 6:04:11 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Ernie Kaputnik

I agree. EVERYBODY should fight these damn things. Flood the courts with not guilty pleas and this crap would stop.


49 posted on 02/06/2012 7:29:44 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: WilliamIII

L.A. City Council shuts down red-light cameras headline from a July 28, 2011 a LA Times story.


50 posted on 02/06/2012 8:00:25 AM PST by ThomasThomas (The right has common sense , the OWS folks have common scents.)
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