Many California residents who receive basic traffic tickets might think there is no option for them other than to pay the fine and move on. When a ticket has been issued at an intersection controlled by a camera, a driver may feel even less that there is a chance to defend against it. A situation recently discovered in the Bay Area, however, provides a great example to drivers of how they may have options they might otherwise be unaware of.
A series of miscommunications involving an intern and others at a police department and a municipal public works department resulted in a change to the programming of red-light cameras at two different intersections. The amount of time drivers were given to legally cross the intersections on yellow lights was reduced by seven-tenths of one second. At one of the intersections, 140 red-light tickets were issued in the first month after the change was made. In the month before the change, only 14 such tickets were issued. At the other intersection, tickets jumped from 66 to 383 due to the change.
The lowered time was in effect for roughly nine months before being returned to its previous level. Pending a ruling from a court, the city may be refunding fees paid to numerous drivers. The total cost is nearly $500,000.
After receiving a traffic ticket in California, drivers might find it interesting to talk to a lawyer and learn about their potential options for a defense.