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California Red Light Cameras


Being a local of Orange County, I know exactly which intersections are equipped with a red light camera. As I pass these cold lifeless devices designed to fatten our city’s pockets without even giving us the courtesy of seeing or knowing our accuser, I am left wondering: are these things even helping? Governmental agencies are quick to point towards certain studies while ignoring those that have conflicting information. The general conclusion is that it depends on which way you look at it.

Yes, Red Light Cameras Reduce Accidents

The idea that red light cameras reduce accidents is generally true if you are referring to T-bone accidents. A slightly greater number of studies showed that broadside incidents were reduced by red light cameras. A November 2008 study carried out by the Center for Transportation Safety of the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University found “a 43 percent annualized decrease in right angle collisions” at 56 intersections with red light cameras.

No, Red Light Cameras Don’t

While cameras are often credited for reducing T-bone accidents, and sometime reducing accidents between cross traffic and those making a right turn on red, they are almost universally credited for increasing rear-end accidents.

People v. Khaled

The use of photographs and a police officer’s declaration to prove that a motorist ran a red light violated the Evidence Code and the driver’s constitutional right to confront his accuser, ruled the Orange Superior Court Appellate Department.

Tarek Khaled received a citation from Santa Ana police in August 2008. At trial, the prosecution sought to admit photographs that allegedly showed the defendant running a red light. The defense objected on the ground that the photographs, which had certain information entered on them, such as the time and date they were taken, were inadmissible hearsay. Orange Superior Court Commissioner Daniel Ornelas disagreed, admitted the photos and a supporting declaration, and found the defendant guilty.

The appellate panel, comprised of Judges Gregg L. Prickett, Gregory H. Lewis and Karen L. Robinson, said the objection should have been sustained.

“No one with personal knowledge testified about how often the system is maintained. No one with personal knowledge testified about how often the date and time are verified and corrected. The custodian of records for the company that contracts with the city to maintain, monitor, store and disperse these photographs did not testify.”

Tarek Khaled did not have to pay his ticket, due to all evidence against him being thrown out the window, and the implications of his case’s outcome point towards confirmation of driver arguments that red light camera tickets are not concrete proof that you have broken the law, and if handled incorrectly, are not admissible evidence. I wonder how many times this situation has taken place and there was not an appeal? How many people have paid for a ticket that was supported by inadmissible evidence?

Red Light Camera Accidents

Have you been seriously injured in a red light camera accident? Want to know if you have a case? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else? If these questions ring true, you would well advised to speak with an experienced California personal injury attorney. They will advise you of your options and analyze your possibilities of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

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