Those fighting traffic tickets they received thanks to red-light cameras have scored so many court victories that many cities, including some in Orange County, have abandoned the enforcement tool.
But now those battling red light camera tickets are trying to derail legislation that could end one's right to trial for those infractions.
California Assembly Bill 666, which was not authored by Satan but attorney and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), appears at first glance to be as "non-substantive" as it claims to be, dealing with the signage and positioning of "automated traffic enforcement" and changing the word "jurisdiction" to "authority" in the penal code.
But a group has sprung up to "stop AB666" and "protect your right to a trial for traffic tickets." Advocates planned to flood Wieckowski with calls today against the bill, among them Huntington Beach lawyer R. Allen Baylis, who has successfully fought cases involving red-light cameras throughout Orange County.
(Baylis, by the way, thinks people can keep calling Wieckowski through the end of business Friday at 916.319.2025; "Ask for Ashley Medina, his legislative aide, or just leave a message.
If the line is busy, keep calling till you get through.")
The anti-AB666ers believe the legislator is carrying water for the private companies that install red-light cameras and manage traffic tickets under city and county contracts, claiming Wieckowski's bill:
- Eliminates Your Right to a Trial if You Get a Red Light Camera Ticket
- Makes You Responsible for the Ticket Even When Someone Else Is Driving
- Sets up Kangaroo "Administrative Hearing" Courts Run By Those Who Gave You the Ticket
- No Evidence Other than the Ticket Itself is Needed to Convict You
- No Right to Face Your Accuser
- You Are Assumed Guilty and Have to Prove Your Innocence
- You Will Have to Pay a Fee If You Want Your Case Heard in Court
- Expands the Use of Photo Enforcement to Other Traffic Violations
You can learn more about the campaign at StopAB666.org.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.