California Traffic Tickets 
Tuesday, June 26, 2007, 05:46 PM
I've just located a site that renders my Traffic Ticket project moot. I'm not sure whether or not I'll continue developing it. In any case, the site has some excellent words on enforcement of red light cameras, and points out that two separate portions of California law render illegal evidence collected using a red light camera.
Automated enforcement systems are illegal speed traps because their sensors measure the speed of your car as you cross a measured distance in the road (two sets of inductive loops). A speed trap is defined in 40802(a)(1) as: "A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance." So clearly, automated enforcement is an illegal speed trap.

In a chapter of the California Vehicle Code appropriately named "Illegal Evidence", code section 40801, Speed Trap Prohibition, states: "No peace officer or other person shall use a speed trap in arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, any person for any alleged violation of this code nor shall any speed trap be used in securing evidence as to the speed of any vehicle for the purpose of an arrest or prosecution under this code."

Ticket Assassin further goes on to point out that even if speed traps were legal, the way many of them are operated is illegal:
Though not mentioned in the recent article, automated enforcement's San Diego incarnation is also illegal under CVC 21455.5, Traffic Signal Automated Enforcement, which states: "Only a government agency, in cooperation with a law enforcement agency, may operate an automated enforcement system." The system in San Diego is operated by Lockheed Martin IMS, a private for-profit corporation; certainly not the "government agency" called for in the statute. In fact, all the automated enforcement systems in California are being illegally operated by private corporations.

My cousin recently received a ticket in Emeryville, CA and if I remember correctly, the system there is also run by a private corporation. After all, contracting out all aspects of government is the newest fad.

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