First, school zones. Next, your corner.

If these speeding cameras are profitable, you can bet your ass they will pop up like mushrooms all over the state.


California State Senator Pushes For Speeding Cameras In School Zones

IRVINE (CBSLA) — California Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, has introduced a bill that would authorize local governments to install speeding cameras near school zones.

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EFF Joins Effort to Restrict Automated License Plate Readers in California

The Ticket Assassin welcomes EFF into the fight against automated enforcement. It only took them twenty five years to join the fray.


One year ago, the California State Auditor released a damning report on the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) by local law enforcement agencies that confirmed concerns EFF has raised for years. Police are using these camera systems to collect enormous amounts of sensitive data on Californians’ travel patterns. Yet they often haven’t followed the basic requirements of a 2015 state law, S.B. 34, passed to protect privacy and civil liberties from ALPRs. While the auditor only conducted a deep-dive into four jurisdictions—Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento County and Marin County—all were found to be noncompliant. Investigators concluded that the problem was likely widespread among the hundreds of local agencies using the technology.

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Home surveillance camera shows officer lied on report when charging man with major crimes during traffic stop

Watch the video.

The Ticket Assassin repeats his recommendation that you get a dashcam that shows the front and rear of your vehicle. Also, your odds of getting a citation go way, way up if you exit your vehicle during a traffic stop. Don’t do it.

Read (and print out) the Ticket Assassin’s Visor Guide for Traffic Stops.

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LA lawmaker: Bus dash cams could curb parking scofflaws who tie up traffic

More damn cameras.

Pay attention where you park, people. The Ticket Assassin can beat just about any moving violation, but parking tickets are another kettle of fish. They are very difficult to beat.

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OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: A new AC Transit Tempo bus is seen along International Boulevard in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 14: A new AC Transit Tempo bus is seen along International Boulevard in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Drivers who park illegally at bus stops or in transit-only lanes could get ticketed more often if a proposal in California’s state Legislature becomes law.

The bill from Asm. Richard Bloom, D-Los Angeles, allows bus agencies to install automated cameras on the front of their coaches, which could capture the license plate of any car parked in bus stops or dedicated bus lanes.

The vehicle’s owner would get a ticket in the mail and, Bloom and the bill’s supporters hope, learn their lesson not to block the bus.

Those cameras are already in use on some Bay Area buses. AC Transit has issued 588 citations for $110 a pop to drivers who stopped in the bus-only lanes of the Tempo line, which began service from downtown Oakland to San Leandro along International Boulevard last summer, said agency spokesman Robert Lyles.

San Francisco’s Muni buses also have cameras, but state law only allows those two agencies to use the technology, and limits their use to enforcement of the bus-only lanes.

Bloom’s legislation, which is sponsored by the LA Metro transit system, would let any bus agency install cameras and expand where they can be used to include curbside stops. The bill, AB 917, was introduced last month and is now before the Assembly’s transportation committee.

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Brutal review of San Diego traffic court

George Mitrovich is having none of San Diego traffic court:

Have you been to Traffic Court? Let me presume you haven’t. Great. Because you don’t want to go there. You will lose. The system is set up for you to lose. And, as systems go, this one is virtually fail safe.

Absent seeing an in-depth study of cases that come before Traffic Court, which I doubt exists, because it’s not a media thing, the odds of you winning are 99-1.

In conversations with attorneys, I have yet to find one who thinks my 99-1 odds are wrong. But let’s say I am slightly wrong, that the odds of a citizen winning in Traffic Court are 90-1 or even 80-1, does that change the inherent inequity? No.

The Traffic Court is the gift that keeps on giving to San Diego. Income derived by the city from fines and penalties in fiscal year 2014 was projected at $29.3 million. In a city with budget issues, $29.3 million, even if only 2.5 percent of the city’s total budget, is hardly insignificant.

And, there are additional benefits derived, specifically by police officers who are paid time and a half while in court – and to me police are always, “officers”, never “cops”, which I deem derogatory.

If police officers are to be paid time and a half, let them be paid time and a half while on active duty, not sitting around Traffic Court waiting for their case to be called; there is sufficient danger for police on the streets – but not likely in Traffic Court.

And no, this isn’t about me, but someone I know who carefully prepared their defense on a traffic violation; a defense with video evidence against the issuing officer, quickly dismissed by the hearing officer at Traffic Court.

The individual who dared to contest the citation was in court for nearly three hours before being heard and dismissed in minutes, guilty as charged. The city had its money. The police officer his time and a half. The citizen was out $332.

In this case there is cause to believe the police officer was not wholly forthcoming in his testimony; a polite way of saying he probably lied about where his black and white was when he decided a traffic violation occurred – a red light infraction on a right hand turn signal, mind you.

Thus I am weighing whether to file, as allowed by California Law, a public records request with the Traffic Court to investigate the ratio of citizens’ success in having their cases dismissed – and specifically to file for the records of the hearing commissioner in the case described, and other cases that commissioner has heard.

If I find I’m wrong, that the ratio isn’t 99-1, that it’s only 90-1 or 80-1, because fair is fair, and I’m nothing if not fair, I will duly report same – and apologize.

(There is a Web site devoted to helping citizens fight traffic courts. It claims to have helped more than 300,000 Californians alone. It’s worth checking out: https://ticketassassin.com/.)

I will end this by disclosing that I was stopped on a Saturday morning in Kensington, not by one, but two black and white police cars. Yes, that is not a misprint, not one black and white, but two (did you know Kensington is a high crime area, I live there and didn’t.)

The officer approached. I rolled down my window. He asked, was I using my cell phone? “No.” “Do you mind if I look at your cell phone?” I wasn’t required to comply, but knowing I had not been talking and driving, I handed it over. He looked at it, seeing no record of a recent call, told me that obviously I had deleted the call. That was irritating

So I told him I had indeed been talking, that while driving I often use the time to practice my remarks for speeches or sermons. I then told him I was speaking that afternoon at the ordination into the Christian ministry of a dear and beloved friend –
Herb Johnson of the San Diego Rescue Mission – and was practicing what I hoped to say on that Holy occasion.

He clearly did not believe me. Annoyed, yes, I was annoyed, it’s an Irish/Serbian thing, I told him, “Officer, you have two choices. Either believe me or write the ticket.” He wrote the ticket.

That was his mistake.

When the case finally came to trial in Traffic Court on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (you know that ugly, hideous building, with its hearing rooms in trailers), I was prepared.
I had my phone records from Verizon, proving I had not been talking on my cell phone.

The hearing commissioner heard the policeman state his reasons for the citation, and having reviewed my evidence, quickly said, “You have failed to prove your case. I find in the defendant’s behalf.”

Was I elated “justice was served?”

Hardly, I knew I had not been talking on my cell phone, but the police officer, too arrogant and too cynical by half, having stopped me, flashing red lights and all, felt he had to write the ticket.

Even now, three years later, thinking about it while composing these words, it still annoys, even though on the day of the hearing, I had been exceedingly polite to the young officer, because that’s me, but politeness is not what he deserved.

Yes, I won and the cop deservedly lost. But in Traffic Court that day, he was being paid time and a half. No one was paying me for my nearly four lost hours.

Democracy is a great thing. Maybe someday it will come to San Diego’s traffic court.

George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader. He may be reached at, gmitro35@gmail.com.

Original article

Sending full bail with plea no longer required (sort of)

Up until now, the rule was you have to send the full bail amount of your ticket when contesting either by mail or in person; they won’t talk to you unless you FIRST pay the full amount.

On June 8, 2015, the California Judicial Council (the people who make the rules for the courts) ruled unanimously that courts can no longer require full bail when people submit their not-guilty plea.  So, they are no longer allowed to make that requirement:

“The system is broken,” said Christine Sun, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. “It has become clear that we are funding our judicial system through unfair fines and fees that act as a hidden tax on poor people — who may not be able to afford contesting their citation — and people of color, who are disproportionately pulled over and cited. This has to stop, and we’re pleased that the Judicial Council is taking action.”

Interestingly, some Ticket Assassin members have been told by court clerks that the ruling doesn’t take effect until September 15.

As is often the case, the court clerks are full of shit.  From the Mercury News:  

The new ban on this practice takes effect immediately, though courts have until Sept. 15 to ensure their forms, written instructions and websites comply with notification requirements.”

From the Napa Valley Register:

The Judicial Council’s decision takes effect immediately, and also requires courts to notify traffic defendants that they don’t have to make the payments to appear in court in any instructions or other materials they provide to the public.

Courts are facing a deadline to update their forms. But court clerks are telling ticketed motorists members is that until the form is updated, the requirement is still there. Horseapples.  The requirement is no longer there, as of June 8 2015, per the California Judicial Council.

Bottom line:

You can pay the full bail if you want to avoid a fight. You’ll get the money back if you are found not guilty. Or, you can stand up for yourself and insist the court follow their own god damn rules. It’s up to you.

This goes away on September 15 – just five weeks from now. As such, the Ticket Assassin doesn’t want to die on this particular hill – he believes in picking his battles.

Good luck. Let us know what you do and how it turns out.

 

It’s perfectly legal to use the map on your phone while driving

This ruling on cell phone GPS was handed down in February of 2014:

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Drivers in California can legally read a map on their hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the case of a Fresno man who was ticketed in January 2012 for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic. The driver, Steven Spriggs, challenged the $165 fine.

Like I said – it was handed down at the beginning of last year, but cops are still handing out tickets to people looking at the map on their phones. We get members every day who need to defend themselves against this bogus ticket.  RESIST.

The unholy intersection of Chicago politics and automated enforcement

Unbelievably scummy.

CHICAGO – A request by the city of Chicago to toss a lawsuit challenging the fairness and constitutionality of its controversial red light camera program was denied by a Cook County judge.

The lawsuit alleges the city has issued more than $500 million in tickets under a program that wasn’t properly authorized by state lawmakers, the Chicago Tribune reported. It also accuses the city of issuing millions of tickets when yellow light times were too short at intersections equipped with red light cameras.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, which argues the city has acted lawfully, asked Circuit Judge Rita Novak to dismiss the most recent in a series of similar lawsuits.

But Novak ruled on Thursday that the motorists who have been ticketed deserve their day in court. Although she said she understands the city’s concerns about being “subject to the same claims over and over,” Novak denied the request because the plaintiffs named in this case are new.

That’s the backstory. Here’s the money quote from the article:

On Thursday, Keating argued in court that the yellow light times of “up to half of all red light camera tickets issued . were in fact below three seconds,” as a result of the way traffic lights are set. The city has argued that it’s not legally bound to the 3-second minimum listed in federal guidelines.

Install a red light camera at an intersection.  Shorten the yellow light times so that more motorists find themselves hitting red lights. Ignore the fact that these shortened yellow light times are below the Federal guidelines, which say yellow light times should be about one second for each mile per hour, divided by ten. Rake in the cash from motorists.  I guess that’s how it works in Chicago.