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Original post made
on Oct 10, 2011
This seems to be out of character for Sen. Simitian. All of his other moving violation legislation increases penalties and illegalizes additional actions, while this seems to cut the other way. What am I missing here?
"There ought a law" to remove stupid laws
Can't they override the veto, given those original votes?
This law would have limited bureaucratic incompetence. I received a ticket in the mail, for running a red light in Sacramento, for a car which I had recently sold, but had not yet been re-registered by the new owner. Phone calls to agencies in Sacramento were useless, with the only reasonable answers coming from their sub-contractor in Colorado...yep, a Colorado company administers Sacramento's red light cameras. Eventually, the ticket got tossed, but the bureaucrats had no process for providing official notification to me, documenting that the ticket was cancelled.
Brown vetoed Simitian's SB 29 - good! It claimed to be red light camera reform, but actually would have made it worse for drivers. For example, it decreased the number of warning signs at camera enforced intersections, and gave the police much more time to mail the tickets - a year instead of the present 15-day limit. There was one good provision in the bill, but at the last minute it got amended out. The lost provision would have required cities to add a disclosure to the fake tickets they send out. (If the reference to fake tickets puzzles you, do a Google on Snitch Ticket.)
So, good riddance to SB 29.
But not all is good. Brown signed Mike Gatto's AB 529, which will allow cities to reduce posted speed limits by 5 mph, even on streets with a great safety record. The reduced speed limits will allow cities to shorten yellows, which will increase red light cam ticketing by at least 50%. (Four of the sponsoring cities have red light cams.) Worse, the shortening will increase severe accidents by 30 to 40%. (Source: "Development of Guidelines for Treating Red-Light Running," Texas Transp. Inst. pg 2-20.)
The lower speed limits also will make it easier for California cities to issue speeding tickets - groundwork for eventual legislation legalizing speed cameras (photo radar, like they have in Arizona).
Mr. Gatto is very proud of his legislation. It is only fitting that the new speed traps should be called Gatto Traps, with the new shorter yellows called Gatto Yellows.
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