Red light camera and other traffic fines

Smile, your on candid camera

How many Juice readers know of someone who has received a citation by a red light camera?

In fact, this is such a heavy penalty that there is a Bill in Sacramento, introduced by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, that would reduce fines from $450 to $250 for a red light camera catching you turning right on a red light without fully stopping. Hill said: “It tends to be more of a ‘gotcha’ type of ticket than what you would consider a real dangerous violation.”

To read the full San Mateo County Times report go to

Red light tickets are not the only fines imposed on motorists ticketed within city limits. Did you ever question how the fine is divided up among the different public agencies?

Apparently distribution of traffic citation funds has now becomes another tug of war between cities and the state legislature as we look for any source of revenue to retain services.

The SACBEE just reported that “The State Senate voted unanimously yesterday to prevent California cities for citing errant motorists under city ordinance rather than state law, thereby allowing cities to keep the resulting fines. Roseville has been doing that for more than a year, with a flat $100 fine for a range of traffic infractions, far lower than the state vehicle code imposes with various fees and other add-ons. Several other cities, including Oakland and Long Beach, have adopted the same practice.

Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, introduced legislation, Senate Bill 949, to outlaw the practice. It cleared the Senate yesterday on a 28-0 vote without debate, sending it to the Assembly.”    Source:

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A respondent to the SACBEE story writes: “When you are cited for violation of a state vehicle code 5% of the fine goes to the agency that cites you which is about the cost to employ the person that wrote you the ticket for the amount of time spent stopping you and writing the ticket. The idea is policemen are supposively hired to protect the public safety, not to generate revenue. It used to be it was thought unethical for law enforcement to be a revenue generator for the general fund. Most honest people think it is still unethical.”

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