California Governor Signs Bill Saving Red Light Camera Industry (TheNewspaper)
Monday October 1st, 2012
Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation Friday rescuing California's red light camera companies from several pending legal challenges. The state Supreme Court has been poised to rule on whether defendants have the constitutional right at trial to confront the individuals responsible for generating the photographic evidence produced by automated ticketing machines. As recently as September 17, the state's second-highest court was ready to take up a similar question (view case).
Lobbyists for Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australian company, took credit in emails for authoring provisions of the newly signed law that takes those issues off the table. The new law re-writes the state's evidence code stating that the computer output and images from a red light camera are presumed accurate, even though cameras have ticketed motorists for running green lights or tricked them with signal timing that is deceptive. The National Motorists Association (NMA) lobbied against the camera industry proposal, arguing the creation of a new hearsay exception deprives motorists of a fundamental right to challenge the evidence against them.