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Friday, August 31, 2012

California Alert: Tell Governor Brown to Veto Bad Camera Bill

NMA California Alert: Tell Governor Brown to Veto Bad Camera Bill
Dear California Member,

The California Legislature just passed Senate Bill 1303, which strips away fundamental rights for motorists accused of red-light camera violations. The measure will now go to Governor Brown’s desk.

Despite the claims of its backers, SB 1303 does nothing substantive to protect motorists from the abuses of photo enforcement. In fact, some of the most recent bill amendments came at the urging of Redflex Traffic Systems, a major photo enforcement vendor.

The true purpose of SB 1303 is to eliminate a major legal hurdle for camera vendors by allowing camera-based photos and video into evidence without testimony as to their validity. With no camera company representative in court to testify, ticket recipients are deprived of the basic right to challenge the evidence against them.

In addition, SB 1303 allows any jurisdiction to justify ticket cameras for “safety reasons” simply by showing that violations are occurring—even when there are virtually no accidents at the intersections in question.

Finally, the bill’s proposed changes to the “notice of non-liability” (otherwise known as a snitch ticket) will only lead to more motorist confusion and perpetuate this abusive and unfair practice. (Learn more about snitch tickets.)

SB 1303 is a cynical attempt to further erode motorists’ rights in California, and there’s still time to stop it. Contact Governor Brown now and tell him to side with California’s drivers by vetoing SB 1303. Please forward this alert on to others and ask them to respond as well.

John Bowman
National Motorists Association