This company has really gotten under my skin, but this latest action by Redflex and the city of Corona (CA) only serves to cement my dedication to covering every move they are attempting.
The city’s proposal would ignore the California statute authorizing red light camera ticketing, setting procedures and establishing the fines. In its place, the city would substitute its own administrative ticketing arrangement. Currently Corona only collects $133.80 out of each $446 ticket. Under the new plan, the first ticket would be lower but the city stands to collect a much greater amount from repeat violations.
The problem here is that Corona is shredding the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to a trial by jury. By reclassifying a moving violation (a traffic offense governed by the vehicle code) to an administrative violation (governed by the appropriately named government code) Corona is doing something really nefarious. In order to appeal an administrative citation you have to admit guilt, pay the full fine, and then apply for a hearing in front of an administrative official, not a judge in a court. The city could simply deny all hearings for administrative violations or schedule them far out in advance knowing full well that they have your money, which you had to pay before you could appeal.
This is really really really bad on the part of Corona… if they acknowledge that approving the system without fully understanding the impact on their citizens was bad and the result has been “we are killing people with the fines” then simply abandon the traffic camera system altogether.
PS- Mayor Nolan featured in this story is no relation to me.
PPS- How the hell does the mayor explain voting for the program without understanding the costs and then calling his vote a mistake. I say “recall!”