I am taking a second to step away from my normal topic of San Diego County DUIs to jump in the world of traffic violations.
I have to say I actually like those speed signs that flash if come speeding by them. There is one that is fixed about a mile away from my house. I see it flashing and I realize that I have no need to be in a hurry. I am driving through primarily a residential area. Even though my mph guage is right in front of me in my car it does help me slow down.
The cameras have the same result. Some people know they are dead. However, many people see those cameras and think twice before gunning it through the yellow.
It was interesting to hear the cameras are still working. I will say that as a prosecutor I was able to secure convictions for forgery and another for stolen vehicle due to street cameras. I would no doubt tell someone they are sure they were not driving in an Oceanside DUI case because the prosecution will be able to see who was situated where in a vehicle.
The fines are steep for red light violations. I will leave this arena to folks like Traffic guru William Concidine. I wanted to give a little more insight to the issue.
It only looks like they’re taking photos in Oceanside
It has been one month since the City of Oceanside turned off their red-light cameras. Yet, the camera units at four Oceanside intersections still flash and take pictures, and the signs are still posted.
“The public still perceives them as operational, so it will be about four to six months before we may see any difference [running red lights],” said Oceanside police traffic Sgt. Rich Schickel. He explained it’s hard to enforce red-light runners from an officer’s standpoint. There aren’t many areas around busy intersections where officers can safely sit and watch for violators.
The main intersection the motorcycle officers might focus on may be southbound El Camino Real, turning onto westbound Vista Way. The large Discount Tire parking lot offers the officers a safe spot to sit and wait. Otherwise, in most areas of the city, Schickel indicated, red-light tickets would be given, as they’ve always been, when officers are moving with traffic and witness the violation.
Oceanside Police Dept. spokesperson Lt. Leonard Cosby said the city is leaving the cameras up for now, although violations have not been enforced since December 1. “We receive other information from them, like pictures of robbery suspects and stolen cars,” he said.
Oceanside has another tool in its speeding-enforcement arsenal – this one to slow down speeders. In 2014, their mobile data speed-limit signboard, showing the speed limit and the speeds of vehicles, had been posted around the city in 43 locations. Speeding motorists see their speed flashing and a series of bright flashes, coming from, one would think, a camera.
During the holidays, the unit was posted on the downhill side of Lake Drive. The four-lane road, southbound at the top of the summit, is posted at 50 miles per hour. As the road winds down through an older neighborhood, it is reduced to two lanes and posted at 30 miles per hour. The unit works: cars were seen slowing down rather quickly when the supposed camera started to flash. But, just like the red-light cameras that are no longer resulting in citations, the fake speed camera does not record anything other than overall speed data for traffic engineers.
Unlike other states, it is illegal in California for any agency to use photo speed enforcement cameras. Other cities have shut off their red-light cameras due to the program costing more than the cameras generated in fines. Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Marcos, Solana Beach, and Vista still use red-light cameras. The total cost in fines, court fees, and traffic school is around $600. Due to budget constraints, traffic commissioners have been advised by their presiding judges not to lower red-light fines for violators who show up in court.
In 2001, California adopted Vehicle Code Section 21455.6, which outlaws the use of photo speed enforcement. Arizona has shut off their freeway speed cameras, usually found in rural areas, after shots were fired into mobile roadside equipment around the state.
The full article can be found here.
Automated Enforcement Systems: Hearing: Prohibited Use
21455.6. (a) A city council or county board of supervisors shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed use of an automated enforcement system authorized under Section 21455.5 prior to authorizing the city or county to enter into a contract for the use of the system.
(b) (1) The activities listed in subdivision (c) of Section 21455.5 that relate to the operation of an automated enforcement system may be contracted out by the city or county, except that the activities listed in paragraph (1) of, and subparagraphs (A), (D), (E), or (F) of paragraph (2) of, subdivision (c) of Section 21455.5 may not be contracted out to the manufacturer or supplier of the automated enforcement system.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a contract that was entered into by a city or county 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.
(c) The authorization in Section 21455.5 to use automated enforcement systems does not authorize the use of photo radar for speed enforcement purposes by any jurisdiction
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