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Police officers are finding themselves with more time to closely examine vehicle registrations and ticket vehicles that do not have updated registration, despite the fact that the vehicle is not actually on the road.

This happened to me a few days ago. Although I have not driven my vehicle in over a month because the window is cracked and, thus, I have not updated my registration, I received a ticket for failing to have current registration displayed, in violation of California Vehicle Code 5204(A).

I thought, "What?! But I'm not even driving it!" After a quick Google search, I discovered that police officers can legally do this, and they can do it again! And again! Why? Apparently, if you are able to "hide" your unregistered vehicle in the confines of your garage, you're in the clear. But if you're one of the unlucky and have nowhere else to park your vehicle but on a public road, then you're just that...unlucky.

Remember that if you have five unpaid parking tickets, law enforcement may impound your vehicle.

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AnotherWorld Aug. 16, 2009 @ 7:53 p.m.

That is the downfall of living under "laws" either we choose to follow them or break them....It is your choice how you are going to handle a responsibility you should have taken care of through either a temp. extension or just renewing your registration all together.


Eat2surf Aug. 16, 2009 @ 8:05 p.m.

Wow... first car, eh.

You can register it as a Non-Operational vehicle and you won't get a ticket.. but then you'll get a ticket when you do drive it.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 16, 2009 @ 9:08 p.m.

But if you're one of the unlucky and have nowhere else to park your vehicle but on a public road, then you're just that...unlucky.

If the car is on a "public road" it has to be registered, a non operation status does not allow a person to keep the car on a public road, even if it is just sitting there.

If the car is on private property they can't do jack.


Josh Board Aug. 17, 2009 @ 1:25 a.m.

It seems like common sense, really. A vehicle parked on public roads, needs to be registered. What if a kid skateboards or bikes into it, and gets hurt? What if the car is stolen and used in a bank robbery? The police can't track it, or who knows all the little things that could go wrong. Therefore, non-operational vehicles, have to be kept on your driveway or in your garage.

I have a classic car, and I drive it every two weeks. And not very far (it's a Jaguar, and if I do, it might just fall apart!) But guess what? I still need to pay car insurance, even though I'm not driving all over town every day. I still need updated registration. And, imagine someone that has 7 or 8 cars. They have to do all that jazz, too.

The funniest registration story, was with this old black guy I used to work with at the post office. All he ever did, was stand around talking about how police hassled him for no reason. One day, he wouldn't stop. So I said, "Okay, tell me...when was the last time a cop harassed you and what happened?" He said, "Just last week! I was driving my car, minding my own business. I wasn't speeding or anything. The cop came up behind me, drove up next to me, saw I was black, and then pulled me over."

My first response was "Unless your back window was tinted, he could tell you were black from behind the car. Your afro is like Dr. J in 1973." (he laughed at that).

I asked what the cop gave him a ticket for, and he said the car hadn't been registered in five years. I laughed and said, "Are you insane? What makes you think you can just go and drive unregistered, and uninsured, vehicles on the road?"

The best part was telling him about my stepbrother, who had the registration sticker peeled off his car a few days earlier. He was pulled over, and showed prove it was updated with current registration. But he still got a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. And as he told me the story when he picked me up on our way to Fillippi's Pizza, a cop pulled us over. Same thing, with BOTH OF US getting tickets for not wearing seat belts.

We're both white.

Two messages: Cars that aren't registered will get ticketed. It's easy for cops to see what color sticker you should have on your plate. AND..if you're a minority, don't think the cops are picking on you. They pick on EVERYONE that isn't following the rules of the road.


PistolPete Aug. 17, 2009 @ 11:50 a.m.

Someone's gotta pay for all those broken water mains. Infrastructure doesn't just pay for itself. :-D


Russ Lewis Aug. 17, 2009 @ 12:26 p.m.

Plus, Josh, registration fees are the CHP's ONLY source of income, so you better believe they look for those stickers.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 17, 2009 @ 2:53 p.m.

russl, the CHP is funed from the general fund, as are all state employees. Their pay checks do not come from registration fees (well, I guess to the extent that the fees go into the general fund).

BTW the CHP jut graduated their biggest academy class ever 3 days ago, so there will be 183 new CHP rookies out there looking to bust you for anything they can.

The newest weapon they have are LIDAR laser detectors which they use while sitting on TOP of a freeway overpass (at a right angle) while pointing the laser down onto oncoming traffic, if you're going over the posted speed the copper turns onto the onramp and is behind you in 30 seconds with a speeding ticket.


Josh Board Aug. 17, 2009 @ 2:53 p.m.

It's funny, because my friend just got a camera light ticket and is furious. He was ranting and raving about it only being done to create revenue. My response? "So what." We need some ways to do that, and it'll keep people from running red lights.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 17, 2009 @ 3 p.m.

Red light cameras are just there to generate revenue. I am positive of that. A perfect example is the red light at Harbor Drive and Grape Street. In the 1 year period before the red light camera went in there were just 2 accidents at that location (so no need for a red light camera), in the 1 year period after it went int there were 10 accidents.

So if anything the red light cameras are causing accidents.

I would suggest to your friend that thye fight the ticket. You can go to the clerks office in Kearny Mesa, pay the bail on the ticket (red light ticket= $400-$450) and set the trial at the same time. Then buy the book "Fight Your Ticket" by David Brown of Nolo Press and prepare a defense. I would bet that the City does not send anyone to these types of cases and the ticket would be automatically dismissed of that happened.

I just beat a LASER ticket in court last month-and the cop did show up.


Russ Lewis Aug. 17, 2009 @ 3:07 p.m.

Surf Pup: OK, I was misinformed by a CHP. Thanks for the correction.


gardenparty Aug. 17, 2009 @ 3:21 p.m.

surfpuppy, you are exactly correct. The purpose of these cameras IS to generate revenue. If anyone cares to do a little research and find the studies that the installation proposals are based on, you would find 3 things: 1. almost all of the proposals were initiated by the companies supplying the cameras and the proccessing of the data they provide, 2. I heven't seen one yet that does not list the possible revenue generation as the first benefit, 3. If you read them through, almost all of them are written as if increasewd public safety is and afterthough.

The interesting thing is that recently, I have heard of a few communities trying to get out of their contracts because they were not generating the revenue expected when weighed against the cost, which has also led to a few communities canceling plans to put them in. If that doesn't say revenue is the main priority, I don't know what does. On a personal note, my girlfriend and I lived in Dana Point few several years. As long as I can remember, there has been a red light cam in the left turn lane on eastbound Ortega Hwy at Del Obispo, at least 15 yrs. Every body knows it's there and the only ones who ever get caught antmore are tourists going to the beach or the mission. My gf got nicked once, when she first moved there, probably about '94. But she was driving my vehicle, so when the citation came, I went to court, showed the picture of a woman driving and it was dismissed. It was alot wasier to beat back then and alot cheaper. I think the fine was only like $100 or $150.


Josh Board Aug. 17, 2009 @ 4:59 p.m.

For those people that didn't like the registration rule, I wonder what they think of that area in RB, where people would park their cars with the "for sale" signs. Apparently, they aren't allowed to do that anymore, or they face a fine and a tow.

Regarding the light cameras, I have NO DOUBT that they were put there merely for revenue, and not for "safety" reasons. But so what. We need to do something to create revenue, right? Why not have a way to enforce laws and create revenue, all at the same time?

When a cop pulls you over for going 85 on the freeway, he's not doing it because you are "unsafe." There's nothing "unsafe" about going 85 on a freeway, in the left lane. That's revenue, too.

But ya know what? How annoying is it to be at a green light, and you can't go because the last two cars of the green arrow have decided to run the red light? Well, with cameras up there, they sure do a lot less of that.


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