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Info & Advice about California Red Light Camera Tickets

Opened Sept. 23, 2002.  Content updated Nov. 14, 2014.

"Traffic rules account for most of the contact by average citizens with law enforcement and the courts.  Enforcement of laws which are widely perceived as unreasonable and unfair generates disrespect and even contempt toward those who make and enforce those laws."
The Appellate Department, in People vs. Goulet

"Our research in Gardena has revealed there is no significant traffic safety impact as a result of the use of the red light cameras. At almost every intersection where we have cameras, collisions have remained the same, decreased very slightly, or increased depending on the intersection you examine. When combining the statistics of all the intersections, the overall consensus is that there is not a noticeable safety enhancement to the public."
Gardena, California Police Chief Edward Medrano, in staff report prepared for Feb. 9, 2010 city council meeting.


s t a r t   h e r e   i n   t h i s   b o x

New
WHAT'S REALLY NEW OR HOT?


(This box is your pre-flight checklist - go all the way thru it before contacting the police or the court about your ticket.  Failure to use this checklist could cost you $600.00.)


Is your ticket from a town in LA County, or signed by the LA County Sheriff?  If so, you may be able to ignore it!  Read the "Countywide Information," which is Docs Set # 2 on the LA County Documents page.
Then, be sure to come back here.


Does your "ticket" (from any California county or city) look like this ...

Fake red light camera ticket, aka Snitch Ticket

... with photos arranged 2 x 2 at the bottom?  If so, it's not really a ticket at all - it's a police trick!  See the Snitch Ticket section at the top of the
Your Ticket page.
Go there also, if you don't yet have a ticket but want to be prepared.
Then, be sure to come back here!


Warn your gullible friends and relatives that if they get a phone call from a man claiming they can avoid arrest for an unpaid red light camera ticket by buying a debit card and providing its P.I.N. to the caller, it's a scam.


If you haven't received a ticket and have come to highwayrobbery.net to get informed about what's going on in a particular city, go to the Camera Towns page.
If you don't yet have a ticket but want to be prepared in case you get one, be sure to read and follow the links in the first two paragraphs above.


Almost always there's some anti-motorist legislation being proposed, and some very bad candidates for office, to deal with.   Info is at the top of the Action/Legis page.
Then, be sure to come back here!


Was someone else driving your car, and now the police (or even the clerks at the courthouse) are twisting your arm, trying to get you to identify that driver?  You don't have to.  See the "It's Not Me!" section on the Your Ticket page.  (If the mismatch between the person ticketed and the actual driver is really obvious, like a combined age AND gender mismatch, please be sure to let me know about your ticket.)
Then come back here.


Is the "Late Time" on your ticket (also called "red time," "red T" or "TR") 0.2 second or less?  Have a look at Defect # 7, below.
Then come back here.


Did they mail your ticket within 11 days of the date of the violation?  Have a look at Defect # 6, below.
Then come back here.


Is your photo enforcement ticket seriously delinquent or "in collection?"  See the big box near the top of Section # 3, Handling Your Ticket, on the Your Ticket page.
Then come back here.


Did your "ticket" come by email?  It's probably a trick!  See the "Other Confidence Men" section in the Snitch Ticket section on the Your Ticket page.
Then come back here!


Have a quick look at the recent court decisions, which could be of use to every defendant.
Then come back here.


Is your ticket for a straight thru violation (not a turn) and the yellow seemed shorter than normal?  Videotape that signal!  And have a look at Defect # 2, below.
Then come back here.


Was your ticket for making a right turn?  If so, see Defect # 9 (below), and the Legislation section on the Action/Legis page.
Then come back here.


California photo enforcement tickets can put a point on your driving record.  So, they have to have a good picture of your face.  A picture of your license plate isn't enough.  See Defect # 1, below.
Then come back here.


If you want more information about traffic school, see the traffic school Editorial on the Links/Ref page.
Then come back here.


Are you worried that you may have had your picture taken in the last few days?  See FAQ's # 8 and # 9 on the Links/Ref page.
Then come back here.


Do you have a 0.20 or less "Late Time" ticket?  Check out Defect # 7, below.
Then come back here.


Do you have a cover on your license plate?  Or a reflective spray?  You could get a ticket!  See FAQ # 11, on the Links/Ref page.
Then come back here.


Want word-for-word details of how an actual photo enforcement trial goes?
Trial transcripts, and decisions, are available.
See my
Library of Transcripts, Briefs, Decisions.
Then come back here.


On your ticket, does the supposedly "red" light look yellow?  To find out if it really is red, or yellow, see FAQ # 20 on the Links/Ref page.
Then come back here.


If you're not sure what an extension to a "respond to" date is, and what the difference is between an arraignment and a trial, please read the big green Confusing Terminology box on the Your Ticket page.
Then come back here.


Does your "ticket" have the address of the Court on it?  If it doesn't, or if it says "Courtesy Notice - This is Not a Ticket" or (in small print on the back of the page), "Do not contact the court," it's not really a ticket at all - it's a police trick!  See the section entitled "Police Going Too Far...  Snitch Tickets" on the Your Ticket page.
Then come back here.


Lost, or want to find something quickly?
There's now a detailed
Site Index.
Also, the
FAQ will answer many questions.



end of the What's Hot box

content continues below

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You are on the Condensed version of the Home / Defects page.  Only 8000 words!  There is an Expanded version, with 18,000 words, at:  Home / Defects - Expanded.

Photo Enforcement Defects

The defects below are listed in the chronological order they came to my attention, with the newest ones at the end.  So, the numbers don't necessarily reflect their significance.

Defect # 1 - blurry photo of the driver - is the one which gets the most cases dismissed - if the defendant (you) takes the case all the way to a not-guilty trial.

In addition to the defects listed on this page (below), on the Camera Towns page there is more discussion of the defects as they relate to specific cities or counties.

Along with defending their ticket, every motorist needs to go on the offensive.  Part of each motorist's handling of their ticket should be a call to their legislators.  See the
Legislation section on the Action page for details.


DEFECT # 1:  DRIVER'S FACE PHOTO

In California, photo enforcement tickets can put a point on your driving record.  So, they have to have a picture of your face.  A picture of your license plate doesn't establish that you did the crime - it only establishes that your car did it, and anyone could have been driving your car.

A bad "face" photo - blurry, or picturing a driver whose name is not on the ticket - is a common reason for dismissal of red light camera tickets.

(If you have not received a ticket with photos on it - all you have received is a "Courtesy Notice" from the Court, or a notice from a collection agency - you will need to phone the issuing police department and ask them for a copy of the ticket.)


Important:  Is It a Fake / Snitch Ticket?

Does your "ticket" have the address of the Court on it?  If it doesn't, or if it says, "Do not contact the court," it's not really a ticket at all.  It's a police trick!  See the section entitled "Police Going Too Far..." on the Your Ticket page.


Is It Someone Else in the Photo?

If your name is on the ticket but it's not your face in the photo, you don't have to identify the person driving.  For more info on how to handle this situation, go to the "It's Not Me!" section on the Your Ticket page.
(If the mismatch between the person ticketed and the actual driver is really obvious, like a combined age AND gender mismatch, please let me know about your ticket.)


Photo Blurry?

If it is your face in the photo, but it's blurry, read on...

The "face" photo on the ticket sent to me was very blurry.  The ticket said that I could go to the police station and be shown the original photo, so I did, and it was just as blurry.   Vehicle Code
Section 210 requires that the photo be "clear," so the lack of the required clear photo was part of my challenge to the ticket.  Read the discussion about driver's photos on page 255 in the 13th Edition or page 277 in the 14th Edition of Fight Your Ticket, and the Foley decision (2010).   Unfortunately, a judge evidently has a lot of latitude as to what "clear" means.  Commissioner Randall F. Pacheco, who heard my case, ruled against me, saying: "The driver in the picture has remarkably similar coloring and facial structure."

In most cities, on the day of trial (not arraignment), many tickets are dismissed "first thing" at the request of the police, due to poor quality face photos.  ("First thing" meaning right after the judge comes in, or right after the defendant has been called forward for his trial.)  If your photo is very blurry, plead not guilty, come in for a trial - maybe your ticket will be dismissed.  If it's not dismissed "first thing," the ticket still could be dismissed during the trial once the judge gets a look at the photo.  To convict you, the judge needs to be convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt" that it is you.  But you need to know that while some judges are likely to reject bad photos, others will readily accept a photo with only a fraction of a blurry face visible behind the rear view mirror and sunglasses.  If the photo is blurry and the judge hasn't noticed that (or if the officer hasn't shown the photo to the judge), bring it to the judge's attention.  Don't say "It's not me," as that would be perjury if you know it actually is you.  (See FAQ # 21 on the Links/Ref page for more information about perjury.)  Simply ask the judge, "Are you sure it's me?" Or you could say, more formally, "I request dismissal of this ticket as there isn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt that I was driving the vehicle."  The preceding two phrases are not testimony, so give you the added advantage that if the judge asks you, "Well then, who is it?" you can tell him that you have not agreed to testify.

At trial, some defendants with blurry face photos have successfully raised "reasonable doubt" in the judge's mind by showing him a snapshot of them together with similar-looking family members or friends.

At one trial the defendant argued that the photo could be any one of a number of his employees who had access to the truck.  The photo wasn't totally blurry - the officer quipped, "Do you have a twin brother?" and the judge said, "I think it is you - I see shades and a nose."  But then the judge (a retired judge brought in temporarily) said, after taking another look at a blow-up of the photo, "If he murdered somebody, I don't see why I should treat a traffic case any differently."  He then dismissed the case.

The burden of proof (the job of convincing the judge it's you) is on the People (the officer and his photos).  (See the discussion of the law in the "It's Not Me!" section of the Your Ticket page.)  You're not required to help the officer convict you - the Fifth Amendment says, "No person... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."  You should (politely) invoke that right if the judge asks questions like,  "Is that you in there?" or "Do you recognize yourself?" (For more info about remaining silent, read the Fourth Step of the "It's Not Me!" section.)
Sometimes, the officer forgets to display the face photo to the judge.  If that happens, wait until he finishes all his testimony and the judge signals you that it is your turn, then make a motion to dismiss for lack of proof that you were driving the car.

The original face photo displayed at your trial will be clearer than the copy you received in the mail or saw on the Internet.  If you are trying to decide whether to fight the ticket based on a blurry photo and would like to see how good the "original" is, call the phone number on the ticket (often in the upper corner on the back) and make an appointment to go to the police department and look at the photos.  At the appointment, ask the officer to blow up the face photo, just like he does at a trial.  (For a preview of what your visit to the police department might be like, read "Contact the Police," which is part of Step One of the "It's Not Me!" section on the Your Ticket page.)
If it's not convenient for you to visit the PD to view the original photos, or the police are unwilling to show them to you, you can use
Discovery to get copies of the photos mailed or emailed to you!


Did Someone Turn Your Name In?

If the ticket (now in your name) was originally issued in someone else's name, and that person filled-out the affidavit form and supplied your name to the police, their written affidavit identifying you as the driver cannot be used against you in court.  And I have never seen an officer/prosecutor even try to do so, because it would so clearly be hearsay.  If he was really desperate to convict you, the prosecutor would need to subpoena the person who identified you to come to court and testify in person;  I have never seen that happen, either.  See the "Were You Snitched On?" paragraph on the Your Ticket page.


Did You Turn Your Name In?

If the original "ticket" was actually a fake ticket (Snitch Ticket) issued in your name, and you filled-out the affidavit form and later received a real ticket (Notice to Appear) in the mail, your affidavit identifying yourself as the driver ordinarily could not be used against you in court, due to the Fifth Amendment.  Unless you testify that it wasn't you driving!  See the "Did You Snitch on Yourself?" paragraph on the Your Ticket page.


Face Photo Checklist

Finally, these three things bear repeating:

1.  Make sure it's not a Snitch Ticket!

2.  If it's not you in the photo, you don't have to identify the person driving.
(See the "It's Not Me!" section on the Your Ticket page)

3.  But if it is you in the photo, don't say "It's not me," as that would be perjury.


This (above) is the only version of Defect # 1 - the version on the
Expanded Home / Defects page is identical.




Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 2:  YELLOW LIGHT TOO SHORT FOR THE POSTED SPEED


If you were ticketed for a left or right turn, Defect # 2 won't help you much, because under present California rules the minimum yellow light change interval for a left turn or right turn phase is 3.0 seconds, regardless of the posted speed limit.  Instead, have a look at "Churning" in Defect # 9, below.

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 Bell Gardens, Citrus Heights, Corona, and Hawthorne - appear to provide for a monetary penalty against the city if city traffic engineers lengthen the yellows.

Vehicle Code
Section 21455.7 says that yellow lights cannot be shorter than those provided in the CalTrans Traffic Manual.  The following CalTrans table shows how long they need to be for a straight-thru movement.
( Under present California rules, the minimum yellow light change interval for a left turn or right turn phase is 3.0 seconds, no matter how high the posted speed limit is.)

Table 4D-102 Minimum Yellow Light Change Interval


  Posted Speed  or Prima Facie Speed Minimum Yellow Interval
MPH KM/H SECONDS
25 or less 40 or less 3.0
30 48 3.2
35 56 3.6
40 64 3.9
45 72 4.3
50 80 4.7
55 89 5.0
60 97 5.4
65 105 5.8

Under present California rules, the minimum yellow for a left or right turn is 3.0 seconds, regardless of the speed limit.

Cities recently found to have too-short yellows:

San Bernardino, Nov. 2008
San Carlos, Jan. 2009
Victorville, July 2009
Redlands, Sept. 2009
Menlo Park, July 2010
Loma Linda, Sept. 2010
Fremont, Nov. 2010
Sacramento, Jan. 2012

For information on how to measure the length of the yellow, see the big yellow box in Step 2 of the "Handling Your Ticket" section on the Your Ticket page.


This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 2 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 2 - on expanded Home page.


'CHEAT SHEET' AVAILABLE

If all these Code sections (and other numbers) are beginning to circle around in your head, I suggest that you go to the Site Index and print out the 'Cheat Sheet' available there.  That way, you will have a ready reference to refresh your memory.  I use it too!



Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 3:
POSTED SPEED TOO LOW FOR THE ACTUAL SPEED OF TRAFFIC ON THE STREET

On many streets, the posted speed limit has been set much lower than the actual speed of traffic.  Cities do it for political reasons, usually in response to a neighborhood's complaints about speeding.  And that too-low speed limit then is used to set a too-short yellow.  And that too-short yellow guarantees that there will be lots of camera tickets for straight-thru violations.

If you suspect that that is what has happened in your town, please read the Expanded version of this Defect.



This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 3 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 3 - on expanded Home page.


Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 4:
PHOTO ENFORCEMENT WARNING SIGNS TOO SMALL, ABSENT, ETC.

Vehicle Code Section 21455.5 requires the posting of warning signs.

From 1995 to Dec. 31. 2012 it gave a city the option to locate the signs at all the main entrances to town "including, at a minimum, freeways, bridges, and state highway routes" (in a city with a large airport, I think that the airport should have been considered to be a "main entrance") or at each camera-equipped intersection and "visible to traffic approaching from all directions."  (At a typical intersection it required four signs even where there was only one camera monitoring one direction of traffic.)  Most cities chose to post the intersections rather than the town entrances, and occasionally some forgot to post all four directions at the intersection.

On Jan. 1, 2013 Section 21455.5 changed.  The option to post the entrances to town was deleted and a requirement to post a sign near each camera was added.  That new requirement to always post a sign near each camera may sound like an improvement over the previous law which gave a city the option to post no signs at the intersection, but in my opinion it makes us less safe.  How?  See the discussion in SB 1303 on the Action/Legis page.

The revised version of Section 21455.5 says that 2013 will be a transition period, to allow cities time to change their signs to comply with the new law.  Cities must complete the changes by Jan. 1, 2014.

Unchanged was the requirement for signs to comply with CalTrans specifications:  They must be at least 30" wide and 42" inches high, the bottom edge must be at least 7 feet above the pavement level (5 feet in rural areas), and they must be laid-out per this CalTrans design...

Sign, Caltrans-approved format - part of Defect # 4

Please note that there is no requirement to post signs at right turns, telling you "stop before turning" or something like that.


This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 4 -
For more info about signs, the original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 4 - on the expanded Home page.



Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 5:  Xerox/ACS CAMERA

Defect # 5 is about problems where the cameras are run by Xerox/ACS (ACS, a division of Xerox, provides the cameras in the City of West Hollywood, the City of San Francisco, and along the busways and tracks of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority/MTA/Metro).  Tickets from Xerox/ACS-run cameras can be recognized by the rectangular (0.5 by 1.25 inch) black data box superimposed on the photos.  The data box includes the 'cat face' trademark of Gatsometer, the Dutch camera manufacturer.


Typical Xerox/ACS Limit Line photo shows only the signal opposing traffic is looking at (upper right arrow).
Some Xerox/ACS Limit Line photos show no signal at all.
highwayrobbery.net added the arrows.


Typical Redflex "before" photo
Typical (non-ACS) "forward-facing" Limit Line photo, shows signal the driver is looking at.


Xerox/ACS (Affiliated Computer Services - not to be confused with ATS, a competitor) was a pioneer in the photo enforcement Industry, but has not won a new contract in California in many years.  They have been overtaken by other companies offering more modern equipment.  Most Xerox/ACS installations do not include a video camera, while the Industry norm is to save a video clip of the violation - essential if the city wishes to issue tickets for rolling right turns.  Also, in most Xerox/ACS installations, the only Limit Line photo is taken by a camera facing the driver, thus does not show the signal the driver was looking at (see first example above), while the Industry norm is to take two photos - one facing the driver, the other a "forward-facing" photo (second example).

I.

The lack of a "forward-facing" Limit Line photo showing the signal may have delayed the discovery of a major problem at an ACS camera at Whittier / Atlantic in East LA.  Nearly 3000 tickets issued at that intersection were reversed by the court, after it was discovered that the camera issued many tickets prematurely, possibly while the light still was yellow.   This problem could occur with a Xerox/ACS camera anywhere in the world.  (More info about the Whittier / Atlantic reversals is in the East LA section on the Camera Towns page.)

A Xerox/ACS camera in your town could have this problem if either (A) or (B) exists.

(A)  The "1Y..." or "2Y..." imprint (see arrow in first example above) on your top photo (assuming it is more legible than the example above) is followed by:

(1)   " 29 " or less in a 25 mph zone or for a left or right turn violation,
(2)   " 31 " or less in a 30 mph zone,
(3)   " 35 " or less in a 35 mph zone,
    (4)   " 38 " or less in a 40 mph zone, or
(5)   " 42 " or less in a 45 mph zone.

(B)  The camera has been aimed, as in the first example above, so that the signal head (other arrow) is visible, and the visible light you see is yellow, not red.  It's best to check a ticket with small "red time" - 1/10th or 2/10ths of a second - " R001 " or " R002 " in the top photo on the ticket.  See also Defect # 7, below.

If your ticket is not in color, or isn't clear enough so that you can't perform the checks above, you can call the police department and ask them what the numbers are, or go in and look at their copy of the ticket.  Their phone number should be on the back of the ticket.  (Before you go visit the police, read II., below.)


II.

Following the ticket reversals in East LA, some cities with Xerox/ACS installations added an extra camera to take a "forward-facing" photo.  But some California cities did not.  Several appeal court decisions (
Bohl, Moore, Graham, Salseda) have addressed that issue.

If you go to cite-web.com to look at your Xerox/ACS photos, the forward-facing photo may or may not be there - assuming one was taken.  If you really want to know, for sure, if a forward-facing photo exists for your Xerox/ACS citation, I suggest asking for
Discovery.

For more information on how to read the "Late Time" or "Red Time" printed on your ticket, see the How to Read Your Late Time box in Defect # 7, below.


This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 5 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 5 - on expanded Home page.


Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 6:  CITY DIDN'T ISSUE WARNING TICKETS FOR 30 DAYS
& other required warnings

Defect # 6 applies when the installation of "your" camera was not followed by a 30-day period during which warning tickets were issued by that camera, and you got your ticket during that period.  This is most likely to happen if "your" camera was not the first one installed in town.

(There are two other types of warnings required - see the expanded version of Defect # 6.)

Vehicle Code
Section 21455.5 says, in part:


21455.5:

(b)  Prior to issuing citations under this section, a local jurisdiction utilizing an automated traffic enforcement system shall commence a program to issue only warning notices for 30 days.

( This requirement is not new - it was first enacted, although not in exactly the same words, by Section 4 of Senate Bill 833 of 1995, which was effective Jan. 1, 1996 and said,
"Any city utilizing an automated traffic enforcement system at intersections shall, prior to issuing citations, commence a program to issue only warning notices for 30 days." )


Section 21455.5 doesn't make it clear whether a city having a pre-existing system is required to issue warning tickets when it adds a new camera.  As a result, while all cities issued warning tickets at the time they installed their first camera, many cities did not issue warning tickets from the cameras they added weeks or months later.   Hawthorne, Inglewood, Santa Ana and Stockton are examples of cities that issued warning tickets at their first camera location only - but there are many more.

In 2014 the California Supreme Court issued a decision in People v. Gray, about warning tickets.  The Court agreed that a city must issue warning tickets when it adds a new camera to its system, but it limited that protection to benefit only those violators whose violations occurred when the new camera first became operational.  So, if "your" city installed "your" camera and did not issue warning tickets for 30 days after that installation, and your violation occurred during that period, this issue can be raised in court.

Issuing warning tickets may be a "foundational" requirement (read the Gray decision) - Defects #'s 2 - 4 and 10 are others.



This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 6 -
If you want more details, the original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 6 - on expanded Home page.



Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 7:  SIGNAL LIGHT BULBS TAKE A WHILE TO COME ON
...and So Do LEDs
AKA:  The "Filament" Defense

This defect is applicable only to tickets with small "Late Times" - 0.20 (two tenths of a second, or 200 milliseconds) or less.  If you can't find your Late Time, or can't read it, see the big purple-ish box, below.

California Vehicle Code Section 21453, which is the law you have been charged with violating, says: 
"A driver facing a steady red... shall stop...."  (Emphasis added.)

The defect is that LEDs (light-emitting diodes), the fastest-acting light source used in signals, can take slightly more than  0.1 second to light-up (turn-on) after the power has been applied.  If you have a ticket with a 0.1 Late Time, that turn-on delay may be longer than the Late Time you were cited for.  And the old-fashioned, but occasionally still-in-use incandescent bulbs, take about twice as long.  If your Late Time was very short (or you suspect that it was), compare the brightness of the red in the first photo...

Car at limit line, red is dim
Portion of "First photo," taken when front
of car was 1 - 2 feet behind limit line,
Late Time indicated as approx. 1/10 sec.


...to the brightness of that same lamp in the second photo.

Car in intersection, right is brighter
Portion of "Second photo," taken approx. 1 sec. later,
when car was in the middle of the intersection.


If it is noticeably brighter in the second photo, then you have photographic evidence that you were not facing a "steady" red at the time you were at the limit line, and you should be sure to read the Expanded version of Defect # 7.



How to Read Your Late Time

You may need a magnifying glass, a pocket calculator, or a crystal ball !

Late Time is how long the signal already had been red (actually, how long power had been applied to the red light bulb) when your picture was taken.  The red light camera industry is so new that there's no standard terminology.  Thus, Late Time is also often called "duration," "time into red," "red time," or abbreviated as "TR."

There's also no standard as to the number of decimal places - Some red light cameras display the Late Time rounded down to tenths of a second, others display hundredths of a second, and some of the newest cameras have four digits to the right of the decimal place.  In at least one city (Culver City) the number of digits varies from camera to camera.

Pointing up the lack of standards, several cities using Nestor-brand camera systems don't display the Late Time at all, even though Nestor systems clearly have the capability to do so.


(From sample ticket at the end of a Nestor brochure.)

A possible motive to leave it off could be so that they can cite for very short Late Times (like 0.1 second) without widespread criticism (including some from judges) about "Mickey Mouse" tickets.  If you phone the PD to ask what your Late Time was, they probably will say that to get that information, you must come in to the police station.  The visit to the police station serves to grind you down, make it harder for you to fight your ticket. See the Cerritos, Costa Mesa, Pasadena, Davis or San Bernardino sections on the Camera Towns page for more information.

Many red light cameras imprint the Late Time right on the top
[2] photo on your ticket - but the format has not been standardized.  So here is how some of the more common cameras would display a Late Time of 1/10th (one tenth, or 0.1) of a second.

The now almost-obsolete (but still used in three locales) Xerox/ACS "wet film" 35mm cameras print 1/10th of a second as R001 .  While it's not a 1/10th of a second ticket, the top photo in Defect # 5 above is a good example of a ticket from a Xerox/ACS 35mm camera.  The tenths digit is smaller than the rest and is always very hard to read; to be sure of what the tenths digit is, you may need to call the issuer of the ticket.  On the example, the Late Time is 1.1 second, displayed as R011 (in the middle row on the right side of the data box).

Early RedFlex cameras, such as Culver City's first seven installations, used 35mm "wet film" and displayed the data in bright, but fuzzy, red numerals in a strip across the top of the photos
[2].  They would print a 1/10th second Late Time as Red T.  000.1

RedFlex's newer cameras, which are digital and take 12 seconds of video, display the data in tiny faint white letters on a black strip at the top edge of the photos
[2] (best way to read them is by putting the ticket up on the window).  They would print a 1/10th second Late Time ("duration," "TR," or "time into red") as either 0.10 or 0.1000.  At court in Culver City I have seen some RedFlex "video" tickets with only the tenths digit displayed.  The officer told the court that this occurs when they are having a problem with their live data link.

Most brands of cameras (Xerox/ACS, RedFlex, etc.) have a second time counter, often called "elapsed time," which starts at zero at the instant the first photo is taken.  It will tell you the time that elapsed between the first photo and the second.  Sometimes using the elapsed time (subtracting it from the elapsed Late Time shown in the second photo on the ticket) will help you to figure out what the hard-to-read Late Time (in the first photo) is.  For example, here are the data boxes from the first and second photos on a typical ticket - actually the same Xerox/ACS one used in Defect # 5, above.

If you subtract the elapsed time of 0.89 (shown in the middle row, left side, below) from the elapsed Late Time of 2.0 ( " R020 " in middle row, right side, below) you get 1.11, which confirms that the Late Time shown in the first photo (middle row, right side, above) is 1.1 (after rounding off).



For more practice reading Late Times, see
this page.

If you are making time/distance calculations, see: 
The Math Page.


[2] If two photos have a Late Time imprint, the applicable number will be the smaller one.



This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 7 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 7 - on expanded Home page.


Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 8:  TICKET MAILED LATE OR TO THE WRONG ADDRESS,
WITHOUT PROPER PROOF OF MAILING,
OR INCOMPLETE

Most of Defect # 8 could apply to any violation, anywhere.

(A)  Many defendants are unaware that they ran a light.  Many other defendants loaned their car to someone else.  So that defendants are able to remember what they were doing on the date of the violation, or to whom they had loaned their car, California law appears to give the police only a limited amount of time (15 days)
[4] to deliver a genuine Notice to Appear to the registered owner.
And, of course, they need to send it to the right address.

[4]  If the postmark is more than 11 calendar days after the date the violation occurred, the service of the Notice to Appear could be defective.  Vehicle Code Sec. 23 says, "The giving of notice by mail is complete upon the expiration of four days after deposit of the notice in the mail...."

If you're not the registered owner, please note:  The 15-day requirement applies to the first mailing of a Notice to Appear, which is usually to the registered owner of the car.  If he or she received a genuine Notice to Appear, then gave your name to the police who then re-issued the ticket to you, the 15-day requirement does not apply to the timing of the mailing to you.  But if what the registered owner received was something other than a genuine Notice to Appear (maybe a Snitch Ticket?), you might be able to file a demurrer. For more info about demurring, see Defect # 8, Expanded.

(B)  And since red light camera Notices to Appear are not handed to you in person by a motor officer who obtains your signature, the law requires the police to obtain some evidence that the Notice to Appear was actually mailed.

(C)  Some cities leave the court's phone number off the Notice to Appear, or provide an incomplete address for the court (both of which are required on the
official form), in an apparent attempt to make it harder for defendants to have their day in court.


The Law

In California, Vehicle Code Section 40518 says (in part, with emphasis added):

40518. Whenever a written Notice to Appear has been issued by a peace officer or by a qualified employee of a law enforcement agency on a form approved by the Judicial Council ... and delivered by mail within 15 days of the alleged violation to the current address of the registered owner of the vehicle on file with the department, with a certificate of mailing obtained as evidence of service ...



This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 8 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 8 - on expanded Home page.



'CHEAT SHEET' AVAILABLE

If all these Code sections (and other numbers) are beginning to circle around in your head, I suggest that you go to the Site Index and print out the 'Cheat Sheet' available there.  That way, you will have a ready reference to refresh your memory.  I use it too!



Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 9:  "CHURNING"
Quotas, Enforcement on Left or Right Turns, Signals which Change Too Quickly, Cameras at Confusing Intersections, Federal Guidelines

"Traffic rules account for most of the contact by average citizens with law enforcement and the courts.  Enforcement of laws which are widely perceived as unreasonable and unfair generates disrespect and even contempt toward those who make and enforce those laws."
The Appellate Department, in People vs. Goulet



Nonsequitur, by Wiley Miller.  Shop at www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/


A.  Ticket Quota$

Section 11.14 of the Feb. 2009 contract between the City of Walnut and RedFlex penalizes the City if:

"...the City or Police waives more than 10 percent of valid violations forwarded to the Police for acceptance...."

The contract between Los Angeles County MTA ("Metro") and Xerox/ACS requires:

"The Contractor shall be required to maintain, at a minimum, the existing rates of citations issued by location...."

In Apr. 2011 a jury awarded $2 million to two LAPD motorcycle officers who alleged that their supervisors retaliated against them for complaining about traffic ticket quotas.  
Article, LA Times, 4-12-11

In June 2011 the mainstream media revealed that the LA County Superior Court was not reporting ignored red light camera tickets to the DMV.  By the following month, payment of tickets had dropped in half.  To bring their ticket revenue back up, some cities began to issue a lot more tickets.  Baldwin Park, Commerce, Covina, Culver City, Hawthorne, Lynwood, Santa Clarita, South Gate, Walnut and West Hollywood - more than half of the red light camera cities in LA County - increased ticketing by more than 50%.  For more info, see Set # 2 on the LA County Docs page.  Ticketing also increased 50% or more in some cities outside of LA County:  Corona, Garden Grove, Highland, Los Alamitos, Oakland, Redding, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Santa Ana, South San Francisco, Stockton and Victorville.

Ticket quotas are illegal in California - see
CVC 41600 - 41603.


B.  Churning Right Turn$

"There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."
Prof. Peter F. Drucker

"Basically they're [the camera company] saying we're going to make money off that intersection if we put it there.  It's a half million dollars in fines that we would not normally have collected."
Emeryville Police Chief Kenneth James.  Source.

Sgt. Kaufman:  "My only question is since most of the violations are right turns, how long would that be sustainable?"
RedFlex rep Mark Riggs: "I can say that most intersections that have right turns enforced continue to produce consistent numbers."
2013 email exchange about proposed new camera in Menlo Park

There has been a shift away from ticketing people who run straight thru intersections, towards ticketing drivers who "roll" a right turn.   It has become the profit center of most systems, and some of the newest contracts (between cities and red light camera providers) acknowledge the economic importance of rolling right enforcement by making it a contractual obligation.

'Customer agrees to 
enforce right-hand turn violations.'  Contract term 2007/2008, Belmont and San Carlos
Clause found in the Nov. 2007 San Carlos and Feb. 2008 Belmont contracts.

The San Carlos and Belmont contracts merely require those cities to enforce on rolling rights, without specifying exactly what will happen if the cities refuse to do so.  On the other hand, the Dec. 2007 Citrus Heights contract, the Jan. 2008 Bakersfield contract, the June 2008 Napa contract, the Oct. 2008 Bell Gardens contract, the Nov. 2008 amendment of the Ventura contract, the Dec. 2008 Lynwood contract, and the Feb. 2009 Walnut contract all provide for a monetary sanction against the city.

Why has RedFlex found it necessary to force cities to enforce rolling rights?  We need look no further than Ventura.  Until the Nov. 2008 contract amendment, Ventura was not contractually required to ticket rolling rights, and chose - correctly - to give it very little emphasis.  Because of the resulting low ticket volume (combined with 'cost neutral' terms), by late 2008 the invoices from RedFlex to the City showed a "balance carried forward" of more than $1.7 million - money that RedFlex probably never will be able to collect from the City.  See Set # 2 of 
Ventura Documents .


A Few Important Notes about Right Turns

(1)  The price - In 2012 there was a bill in the legislature to reduce the fine on rolling rights.  See the
Legislation section on the Action page.
At least one city used to do what the 2012 bill proposed:  Until Aug. 2008 the City of LA cited its rolling right turns under Subsection (b) of CVC 21453, instead of (a), which resulted in a much-lower fine.  And a few judges in other cities offer reduced fines to defendants with rolling right tickets.
For perspective:  New York City charges $50 for all its camera tickets, and in Oct. 2009 the Lafayette, Louisiana City-Parish Council reduced the fine for rolling rights to $25, from the previous $125.

(2)  At right turns, the city is not required to post signs telling you "stop before turning" or something like that.  See FAQ # 27 and
Sign Requirements for more details.  But if you were cited for a turn at a corner having a sign saying "no turn on red," please contact me about it.

(3)  Under present rules, the yellow for a turning movement (right, or left) needs to be only 3.0 seconds long.


C.  Churning Left Turn$

A tiny increase in the length of the yellow makes a huge decrease in the number of left turn violations.

If cities wish to reduce left turn running, they should lengthen the yellow, make sure the green arrow is long enough - and demand-activated - and that the turn pocket is large enough for the demand.  In most cities, the photo enforcement on left turn arrows is a form of Churning.

Under present rules, the yellow for a turning movement (right, or left) needs to be only 3.0 seconds long.  However, in Oct. 2012 a government-funded study recommended significantly longer yellows for left turns, nationwide.  See the NCHRP study in the expanded version of Defect # 3.

For more about left turns, read the expanded version of Defect # 9.


Take Political Action

If you have a ticket for a turn, left or right, call your State legislators, and your auto club, and complain about the heavy ticketing and the way out-of-proportion fine.  For phone numbers see the
Legislation section on the Action page.

Other than the quotas, the things noted in Defect # 9 above are mostly political issues - it would be difficult to use them to beat your ticket.  If you would like to read more about them (including Federal guidelines), see
Defect # 9, on the expanded Home page.



This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 9 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 9 - on expanded Home page.




Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
DEFECT # 10:  PROBABLE CAUSE, FOUNDATION, CONSTITUTIONALITY, HEARSAY, CONFRONTATION

Defect # 10, Subsection A:
SOME FOUNDATIONAL REQUIREMENTS:  WARNING SIGNS, WARNING TICKETS, LONG-ENOUGH YELLOWS, AND WRITTEN GUIDELINES

At a trial, Foundation is the introductory evidence necessary to establish the admissibility of other evidence.

There was no witness to the crime.  The case is based solely upon physical evidence - the photos and the data the computer recorded.  But the police can't use evidence if it was gathered illegally.  Vehicle Code 21455.5 (in box, below) specifies things the City must do and must not do in order to legally gather red light camera evidence.

To make this concept clear, here is an extreme example:  Suppose you're accused of shooting a convenience store clerk, and the police have produced a gun that matches the bullets found in the clerk; the gun also has a full set of your fingerprints on it.  It is almost perfect evidence - just like the photos the red light cameras take - except for one problem.  The police obtained the gun illegally, by breaking into your house without a warrant.  So, they will not be able to use the gun in court, and will have to depend upon other evidence, and eyewitness testimony, to make their case.

At your red light camera ticket trial, the officer will testify first, and he is supposed to begin his testimony by "laying the foundation."
[5]  Without having to be reminded to do it, most officers will give a brief foundational speech (sometimes very brief) saying that they posted warning signs (Defect # 4), made announcements 30 days before starting up the system, gave warning tickets for 30 days (Defect # 6), have long enough yellows (Defects # 2 and # 3), etc.

[5] Think of the evidence as a house; houses collapse if they have no foundation.

When it's your chance to cross-examine him, you could ask the officer if he provided public notice 30 days before firing up your camera,
issued warning tickets for the first 30 days of operation (of your camera - see Defect # 6),
had four signs (full 30" x 42") posted at your intersection at the time you were ticketed,
and has written guidelines.


Home/Defects Page (Condensed):

Defect # 10, Subsection B:
FOUNDATIONAL REQUIREMENT:  PAY-PER-TICKET ("COST NEUTRAL") CONTRACTS ARE PROHIBITED

Vehicle Code Section 21455.5 prohibits "pay per ticket" contracts.  21455.5(h) says:
(h)(1) A contract [with a red light camera supplier]... may not include... payment... based on the number of citations generated, or as a percentage of the revenue generated..."
( Full text is in the big box, below. )

The author of 21455.5 wrote:
"Paying red light camera vendors [suppliers] based on the number of tickets issued undermines the public's trust and raises concern that these systems can be manipulated for profit."
(Official comment by Senator - then Assemblywoman - Jenny Oropeza, published in 8/27/03 legislative analysis of AB 1022 of 2003.)

Many cities are ignoring that law.  An example is Marysville, where the contract signed Dec. 21, 2004 says:
"Fixed fee of $6,030 Per Month Per Designated Intersection Approach..."
"Payment [to camera supplier RedFlex] will only be made by Customer [the City] up to
the amount of cash received by Customer from Yuba County through the collection
of red light citations up to the amount currently due."
"Cost neutrality is assured to Customer using this methodology as Customer
will never pay RedFlex more than actual cash received."
(Bolding added.)
In other words, contrary to the misleading "fixed fee" language, RedFlex will get less money if there are fewer tickets, and more money if there are more.

The known examples of illegal or cost-neutral contracts are Bakersfield, Baldwin Park, Bell Gardens, Capitola, Cathedral City, Cerritos, Citrus Heights, Commerce, Corona, Costa Mesa*, Covina, Culver City*, Daly City, Davis*, Emeryville*, Encinitas*, Escondido*, Fairfield, Fullerton, Gardena, Glendale*, Grand Terrace, Hawthorne, Hayward, Hemet, Highland, Inglewood, Laguna Woods*, Lancaster, Loma Linda, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Los Angeles County, Lynwood, MRCA*, MTA/Metro, Marysville, Menlo Park, Millbrae*, Modesto, Montebello, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Napa*, Newark*, Oceanside, Oxnard, Paramount, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Redwood City*, Redlands, Riverside, Rocklin, Roseville, San Bernardino*, San Juan Capistrano*, San Leandro, San Mateo*, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Solana Beach, South Gate*, City of South San Francisco, Stockton, Union City, Upland, Ventura, Victorville, Walnut, Whittier, Yuba City, and Yucaipa.

*  This city recently amended its contract, or signed a new one,
changing the pay to its camera vendor to "flat rate."
For more details, see the city's entry on the Camera Towns page.
 This city's contract is available in the city's entry on the Camera Towns page or in the city's Documents page.
This list of cities with cost neutral contracts may not be up-to-date - there could be an amendment that has not come to my attention.

Appeal Victories!

In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 defendants won appellate court decisions saying that cost-neutral contracts are illegal.  See the expanded version of Defect # 10 - B for more information.

Check the contract in "your" city.  It may be available on the city's Documents page, here on highwayrobbery.net.  Or, you can get it by calling the city clerk, at city hall.  If the contract was signed or amended after Jan. 1, 2004 and the quantity of tickets (or the amount of ticket revenue the city gets from the court) has any effect upon the amount paid to the camera supplier, make a motion (or add to your Trial by Declaration) to exclude the camera evidence, because it was gathered illegally. 


Home/Defects Page (Condensed):
Defect # 10, Subsection C:
MOTION TO STRIKE EVIDENCE AND CHALLENGE CONSTITUTIONALITY

In association with the National Motorists Association (NMA), an attorney prepared a 20-page defense brief (Fairfax) asking a court in Fairfax, Virginia to strike the evidence and rule the underlying ordinance unconstitutional.
While some of the brief would apply only to a ticket in that city, many sections of it might be useful in California. 

See the Links/Ref page for more information about the NMA.


Defect # 10, Subsection D:
HEARSAY / CONFRONTATION

Ordinarily, when someone wants to use a document, letter or photo as evidence in court, they need to bring in a live person to testify as to the document's authenticity and accuracy.  And the opposition gets to cross-examine - "confront" - that person.  Without that "live" authentication, the document could be ruled to be "hearsay," and excluded from evidence.  There is an exception to the hearsay rule, for documents created by a government employee - but many of the documents the police present in court have been created by a private company's employees who are not government employees, thus have no official duty to report accurately.  Numerous recent decisions by California Appellate Divisions and the US Supreme Court have addressed this hearsay/confrontation issue.

In Sept. 2012 Gov. Brown signed a new law diminishing a defendant's ability to object on hearsay grounds.  See SB 1303 of 2012, on the Action/Legis page.

RedFlex holds a
patent on a method to alter/intensify portions of photos.

Also see the
Getting Records / Discovery page, read about California's Truth in Evidence law, and the Best Evidence Rule.


Defect # 10, Subsection E:
PROBABLE CAUSE

Some cities issue a real ticket to the registered owner of the vehicle, even when it is obvious (an age and/or gender mismatch) that he or she was not the driver at the time of the violation.  In 2014 there was a trial court decision about that lack of Probable Cause, in People v. Tho--.  An earlier decision is in Section III(B)(2) of Judge Ronald Styn's Aug. 15, 2001 ruling in People v. John Allen.  Also see Set # 16 on the Culver City Docs page.



The Law

Text of California Vehicle Code Section 21455.5, effective Jan. 1, 2004, with the significant changes effective Jan. 1, 2013 (due to SB 1303 of 2012 - see the Action/Legis page) shown in Italic and strikeout type:

(a) The limit line, the intersection, or a place designated in Section 21455, where a driver is required to stop, may be equipped with an automated traffic enforcement system if the governmental agency utilizing the system meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Identifies the system by signs posted within 200 feet of an intersection where a system is operating that clearly indicate the system's presence and are visible to traffic approaching from all directions in which the automated traffic enforcement system is being utilized to issue citations.  or posts signs at all major entrances to the city, including, at a minimum, freeways, bridges, and state highway routes.  A governmental agency utilizing such a system does not need to post signs visible to traffic approaching the intersection from directions not subject to the automated traffic enforcement system.  Automated traffic enforcement systems installed as of January 1, 2013, shall be identified no later than January 1, 2014.  [[Also see subsection (j), below.]]

(2) Locates the system at an intersection, and ensures that the system meets the criteria specified in Section 21455.7.  [[See Defects # 2 and # 3.]]

(b) Prior to issuing citations under this section, a local jurisdiction utilizing an automated traffic enforcement system shall commence a program to issue only warning notices for 30 days.  The local jurisdiction shall also make a public announcement of the automated traffic enforcement system at least 30 days prior to the commencement of the enforcement program.

(c) Only a governmental agency, in cooperation with a law enforcement agency, may operate an automated enforcement system.  As used in this subdivision, "operate" includes all of the following activities  A governmental agency that operates an automated traffic enforcement system shall do all of the following:

(1) Develop uniform guidelines for screening and issuing violations and for the processing and storage of confidential information, and establishing procedures to ensure compliance with those guidelines.  For systems installed as of January 1, 2013, a governmental agency that operates an automated traffic enforcement system shall establish those guidelines by January 1, 2014.

(2) Perform administrative functions and day-to-day functions, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A) Establishing guidelines for selection of a location.  Prior to installing an automated traffic enforcement system after January 1, 2013, the governmental agency shall make and adopt a finding of fact establishing that the system is needed at a specific location for reasons related to safety.

(B) Ensuring that the equipment is regularly inspected.

(C) Certifying that the equipment is properly installed and calibrated, and is operating properly.

(D) Regularly inspecting and maintaining warning signs placed under paragraph (1) of subdivision  (a).

(E) Overseeing the establishment or change of signal phases and the timing thereof.

(F) Maintaining controls necessary to assure ensure that only those citations that have been reviewed and approved by law enforcement are delivered to violators.

(d) The activities listed in subdivision (c) that relate to the operation of the system may be contracted out by the governmental agency, if it maintains overall control and supervision of the system. However, the activities listed [[ and in bold type, above ]] in paragraph (1) of, and subparagraphs (A), (D), (E), and (F) of paragraph (2) of, subdivision (c) may shall not be contracted out to the manufacturer or supplier of the automated enforcement system.

(e) The printed representation of computer-generated information, video, or photographic images stored by an automated traffic enforcement system does not constitute an out-of-court hearsay statement by a declarant under Division 10 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Evidence Code.

(e)
(f)

(1) Notwithstanding Section 6253 of the Government Code, or any other law, photographic records made by an automated enforcement system shall be confidential, and shall be made available only to governmental agencies and law enforcement agencies and only for the purposes of this article.

(2) Confidential information obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles for the administration or enforcement of this article shall be held confidential, and shall not be used for any other purpose.

(3) Except for court records described in Section 68152 of the Government Code, the confidential records and information described in paragraphs (1) and (2) may be retained for up to six months from the date the information was first obtained, or until final disposition of the citation, whichever date is later, after which time the information shall be destroyed in a manner that will preserve the confidentiality of any person included in the record or information.

[The prohibition of cost neutral contracts, formerly Subsection 21455.5(g), is now at 21455.5(h).]

(f)
(g) Notwithstanding subdivision (d) (f), the registered owner or any individual identified by the registered owner as the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation shall be permitted to review the photographic evidence of the alleged violation.

(g)
(h)

(1) A contract between a governmental agency and a manufacturer or supplier of automated traffic enforcement equipment may shall not include provision for the payment or compensation to the manufacturer or supplier based on the number of citations generated, or as a percentage of the revenue generated, as a result of the use of the equipment authorized under this section.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a contract that was entered into by a governmental agency and a manufacturer or supplier of automated enforcement equipment before January 1, 2004, unless that contract is renewed, extended, or amended on or after January 1, 2004.

(3) A governmental agency that proposes to install or operate an automated traffic enforcement system shall not consider revenue generation, beyond recovering its actual costs of operating the system, as a factor when considering whether or not to install or operate a system within its local jurisdiction.

(i) A manufacturer or supplier that operates an automated traffic enforcement system pursuant to this section shall, in cooperation with the governmental agency, submit an annual report to the Judicial Council that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following information if this information is in the possession of, or readily available to, the manufacturer or supplier:

(1) The number of alleged violations captured by the systems they operate.

(2) The number of citations issued by a law enforcement agency based on information collected from the automated traffic enforcement system.

(3) For citations identified in paragraph (2), the number of violations that involved traveling straight through the intersection, turning right, and turning left.

(4) The number and percentage of citations that are dismissed by the court.

(5) The number of traffic collisions at each intersection that occurred prior to, and after the installation of, the automated traffic enforcement system.

(j) If a governmental agency utilizing an automated traffic enforcement system has posted signs on or before January 1, 2013, that met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of this section, as it read on January 1, 2012, the governmental agency shall not remove those signs until signs are posted that meet the requirements specified in this section, as it reads on January 1, 2013.



This (above) is the condensed Version of Defect # 10 -
The original  (un-condensed) version is at
Defect # 10 - on expanded Home page.




Disclaimers / Notes


Don't run red lights.  It is a dangerous practice - Russian Roulette with a car.  This website is inspired by the short-sighted cities that have chosen to "rig" their cameras and signals to maximize profits - and minimize safety.


This site is a free-of-charge public service.  I am not selling anything, and cannot accept donations.  I ask each person who uses this website to call their legislators and their auto club.  See the Action page.


Contributions of information are welcomed.  See the Help & Info Needed section on the Action page.  And if you operate a website or a "blog," please mention highwayrobbery.net.



Dilbert
You can buy that coffee mug at Dilbert.com


You should double-check any material obtained here, before you use it.


If you would like to fight your ticket but do not want to appear personally in court, or cannot easily do so, you could do a Trial by Declaration, through the mail.  See the Your Ticket page.  Or, I can refer you to lawyers who specialize in traffic tickets.  I do not accept any kind of compensation, not even a free lunch, from these attorneys.


During the first three years of this site's existence I attended traffic court twice a week, and there is an extensive chronology of those visits in the Culver City, Inglewood and Hawthorne sections on the Camera Towns page.  Even if your ticket is not from one of those three cities, you may find the information there to be useful.


While Defects # 5, # 7, # 8 and # 9 (above) could apply to a camera anywhere in the world, most of the information on this website applies primarily to tickets issued under California Vehicle Code Section 21453; the law in other states is different. There is some "national" information on the Links/Ref page.


Most of the information on this website applies only to tickets issued in California.


I update portions of this website almost daily.  If you are making a return visit after an absence of more than a day, I recommend that you hit the "reload" or "refresh" buttons, to make sure you have the latest version of the page you're interested in.


If losing your case would cost you your job or your ability to get one, hire a lawyer.  Hire a lawyer if you have been charged with a misdemeanor (red light camera tickets are infractions), because a misdemeanor conviction can land you in jail for up to six months.


"Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords."
Teddy Roosevelt


All information, documents and data posted on this website has been obtained legally, primarily from case documents provided by defendants, from media reports, from government websites, and from requests made under the California Public Records Act ( Govt. Code 6250 ).


I have modified portions of this website to make it more accessible from hand-held devices. If you are having trouble reaching it, are having to do a lot of scrolling to find what you want, or just have a design suggestion, please let me know. The modifications should be invisible when the site is viewed on a laptop or desk-top computer.



Is this Site Reliable?

I am not a lawyer, or a government "insider," and may have some erroneous or incomplete materials on this site.  You should double-check any material obtained here, before you use it.  Use the link in the Reference section on the Links/Ref page to review the latest version of any Vehicle Code section upon which you are basing your defense.

Despite the paragraph above, other people consider this site to be pretty reliable.

"Mayor Rhodes Rigsby said... he trusted the website and has taken its advice in the past."
San Bernardino Sun, Oct. 13, 2010

"...according to data posted on highwayrobbery.net that Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said looked 'spot on.' "
Napa Valley Register, Nov. 13, 2011



Internal Links

You are on the Condensed Version of the Home / Defects page.
For the expanded (original) version, click:
Home / Defects - Expanded.


Onward, to Camera Towns page

Back, to Top of Condensed Home page

Email:  For my address, go to the Action page.



PHOTO ENFORCEMENT 'CHEAT SHEET' AVAILABLE

If all these Code sections (and other numbers) are beginning to circle around in your head, I suggest that you go to the Site Index and print out the 'Cheat Sheet' available there.  That way, you will have a ready reference to refresh your memory.  I use it too!


Please also note that this is a condensed version of the Home/Defects page.  If you are having trouble finding something that you saw before, it might be something that is only on the
original/expanded version of the page - which is still available, and fully maintained.




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