I just went through a three month ordeal regarding a red light camera ticket in the city limits of Ventura California. I’m sharing what I learned here so those in my area can benefit from my homework. Feel free to contact me at http://www.andrewkrone.com/contact.php . I was cleared of the violation, but only after hours of investigation. Here’s a few things I found out:
Great WebSite: http://www.highwayrobbery.net/
Another Great Website: http://helpigotaticket.com/stra/redlight.html
1). Redflex Traffic Systems (An Arizona company that is actually centered from Australia) profits from EVERY ticket they send out. This is a clear violation of the California Vehicular Code (21455.5) because the company running the system cannot be paid based on the number of tickets given out. I discovered this based on a few of the other (and more public) contracts Redflex has recently started in LA.
2). Redflex Traffic Systems is NOT a “governmental agency”, this a clear violation from 21455.5 because the management of such systems must be by a governmental agency.
3). Redflex Traffic Systems is a private company, and the California Vehicular Code forbids the release of evidence (such as photos) to a private company (also 21455.5)
4). The Red Light Camera signs (required by law) at Thompson and Seaward are not consistent, also another violation of the CVC. How can people know there’s a camera if there’s no sign from a particular direction or the signs all look different?
5). Tom Randall, the officer on my ticket never bothered to show up. Either they don’t care or they know they’re wrong.
6). The City Attorney (responsible for all the documents I requested) never gave me the option of receiving the documents by PDF. They wanted me to pay .20/copy for 600 copies or come in and read them one by one!!!! I had to explain to them that a PDF was much more efficient, they finally sent me a CD by email for free.
7). If people only argued the facts they could get out of EVERY red light ticket because frankly THEY ARE AGAINST THE LAW. You can’t have a private company enforcing public laws, it’s just not moral. This whole thing was about making money, NOT safety.
8). Technically you could just cover your face as you run a red light, without a picture identifying you as the driver they don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of making a case.
9). Even if someone does run a red light there are typically environmental conditions that CAN NEVER be proven with a camera system. Examples include: a large truck bearing down on you from behind, medical emergencies, broken signals, etc.
If I was a lawyer I’d sue the City of Ventura, they obviously don’t care about how the systems are setup, administered or the safety of drivers. This is clear because they just let my case go because I bothered to go to court (saving $405 dollars). If they truly cared they would try to enforce ALL tickets. Would it not have been worth a one hour of a Police Officers time for $405 dollars?
It’s actually sad, the city takes advantage of people who “don’t want to bother” or do not know the law. If just 1% of the people argued these tickets the red light systems would be shutdown.
I’m all for safety but if the systems supposedly enforcing safety don’t follow the California Vehicular Code AND a private company profits for every ticket then there’s some huge problems. Even if the company didn’t make any money their contract is still highly illegal.
Finally, there’s NO independent study saying these systems make an intersection safer then it was previously. NOT ONE!!! What a bunch of BS.