Red-light cameras extorting records amount of cash from Millbrae drivers

Gotta hand it to Millbrae. They found just the right corner on which to stick a red light camera. The vast majority of motorists are getting beaned for legal right turns after a stop.

In one month alone, red light cameras in Millbrae generated over 1,500 citations in it’s nine year history. Three intersections in Millbrae have red light cameras and all of them are on Millbrae Avenue.  One camera captures drivers exiting southbound Highway 101 and is the most prolific, giving out 595 citations in the month of June.  Most of the citations were given to drivers who made a rolling right turn. “She just stopped and then she took a right, like you would normally do, yeah a simple right turn,” Alex Quant’s said.  Mike Miranda showed ABC7 News an expensive ticket he got for over $400.

If you click through to the story, you can watch the video. The unfairness of the ticket is obvious from Miranda’s face.  (Despite the unfairness of his ticket, The Ticket Assassin predicts Miranda will remain in the 98% of people who do not contest).

Here’s one part of the story that stood out to me:

The majority of citations were issued for right turns, instead of running red lights.

Screenshot 2015-07-29 16.30.26

Red light cameras were sold to us as a check on drivers who blow through red lights. “Red light runners”, always with  descriptions of drivers flooring it on a yellow light to traverse straight through an intersection, often with descriptions of terrible T-bone accidents.  But that’s not what the “vast majority” of these tickets are actually for. The vast majority of right light camera tickets are for right turns after coming to a stop at the corner. I don’t think anybody would agree that is the same thing. I don’t think any rational, sane motorist would agree it’s as bad (or worse) as blowing straight through an intersection.

Congratulations, Millbrae! You got these cameras installed on a pretense of safety and are now soaking your citizens for technically-illegal but safe rolling-stops at the corner. Time to pop that champagne.

The story quoted our friend and “honorary” Ticket Assassin Jim Lissner at HighwayRobbery.Net:

According to statistics analyzed by HighwayRobber.Net, Millbrae had a record number of citations totaling 1,555 in June, which is more than any month since the cameras were installed in the city nine years ago. HighwayRobbery.Net is a blog that tracks red light cameras all over California and said about 90 percent of the citations are for turns mostly rolling rights, which are violations that cause the least number of collisions, but make the most amount of money in fines. “I personally think it’s legalized theft,” one man said.

At least one State Senator is fighting back against these Orwellian Cash Machines: California State Senator Jerry Hill.

Sen. Jerry Hill’s bill to reduce fines for rolling rights failed and said cities should not use the cameras to make money. “They look at every opportunity to increase revenue in situations where they’re not dangerous,” he said. The question is how much has the city made from the cameras and are there fewer collisions because of them.

That’s pretty easy. This intersection alone got 1,500 citations in June. The tickets issued are $400 a pop. That’s some fairly simple math.

If you live in Jerry Hill’s district, I recommend supporting his campaign. Visit California State Senator Jerry Hill’s campaign site.

Posted in Automated Enforcement.