• Another Red Light Camera Violation Upheld
  • April 11, 2012 | Author: G. Ross Trindle
  • Law Firm: Best Best & Krieger LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Overview: A California Court of Appeal has ruled that cities, when setting up their red light camera systems, need only provide one 30-day warning notice period and one 30-day public announcement period to comply with the Vehicle Code, and need not comply with these procedural prerequisites each time a new intersection is added to the system or a new camera is installed.

    Police Chief Training Point: Since this court disagreed with the prior case of People v. Park (see below), and since other varying decisions have been published in the red light camera enforcement are, cities with red light cameras - and those considering their use - should pay close attention to the requirements for establishing such systems and enforcing citations issued through them. Solid officer testimony and statutory compliance is essential to the success of any red light camera system.

    Summary Analysis: In People v. Gray, Steven Gray claimed that Culver City was required to provide a separate warning notice and announcement period when a red light camera was installed at the intersection where his violation occurred. The appellate court disagreed, finding the city met the 30-day conditions when the traffic system was first placed in operation. The court found that the red light camera “system” refers to the integrated technology used in the overall project, not to the cameras at individual intersections. This holding disapproves People v. Park, which required dismissal of the citation if the city failed to comply with the warning and announcement periods each time a red light camera was added to an intersection. Further, the Gray court found that compliance with the notice periods is not an element of the crime that must be proved in order to secure a conviction.