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San Diego's great red light camera rebellion

August story on secretive Sanders bid solicitation preceded today's dumping of red light cameras by new mayor

Back on August 22, we reported here on a plan by Republican then-mayor Jerry Sanders to extend the city's controversial red light camera program.

There was no notice to the public, other than a request for proposal quietly posted by the Sanders crew on the city's procurement website:

"Currently there are fifteen intersections equipped with an automated red light photo system and photograph over 4,000 potential violation events each month," according to the document.

"Based upon the analyzed benefits of the current [red light camera] program, the City has determined that the program be continued, [and the] City desires to operate [the red light cameras] at a minimum of 15 sites."

According to yesterday's request for proposal document--which bears a closing deadline of September 20, though such dates are often moved back--the new program is anticipated to be a “'turnkey' operation, whereby the Proposer shall provide all necessary equipment and associated software with the [red light camera] program, all staff necessary to install, operate, and maintain the program as well as providing necessary services to the City.

Then in September, the Sanders administration quietly amended the plan to include the possibility of more cameras.

In response to the question, "Does the City anticipate any new locations that will be added to the project?" the document says, "The City is currently reviewing locations that will benefit from use of this technology.

“It should be anticipated that some of the existing photo enforced locations will continue to use this technology and some new locations will be selected."

The items here triggered an outpouring of comments, most of them opposing the automated traffic ticketing.

After U-T San Diego picked up on the story on September 7, Sanders backed away from the plan and mayoral campaign rivals Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio both expressed opposition to it.

Today, Democratic mayor Bob Filner finally made it official: he is turning off the cameras for good:

"These cameras are history on San Diego streets."

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Back on August 22, we reported here on a plan by Republican then-mayor Jerry Sanders to extend the city's controversial red light camera program.

There was no notice to the public, other than a request for proposal quietly posted by the Sanders crew on the city's procurement website:

"Currently there are fifteen intersections equipped with an automated red light photo system and photograph over 4,000 potential violation events each month," according to the document.

"Based upon the analyzed benefits of the current [red light camera] program, the City has determined that the program be continued, [and the] City desires to operate [the red light cameras] at a minimum of 15 sites."

According to yesterday's request for proposal document--which bears a closing deadline of September 20, though such dates are often moved back--the new program is anticipated to be a “'turnkey' operation, whereby the Proposer shall provide all necessary equipment and associated software with the [red light camera] program, all staff necessary to install, operate, and maintain the program as well as providing necessary services to the City.

Then in September, the Sanders administration quietly amended the plan to include the possibility of more cameras.

In response to the question, "Does the City anticipate any new locations that will be added to the project?" the document says, "The City is currently reviewing locations that will benefit from use of this technology.

“It should be anticipated that some of the existing photo enforced locations will continue to use this technology and some new locations will be selected."

The items here triggered an outpouring of comments, most of them opposing the automated traffic ticketing.

After U-T San Diego picked up on the story on September 7, Sanders backed away from the plan and mayoral campaign rivals Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio both expressed opposition to it.

Today, Democratic mayor Bob Filner finally made it official: he is turning off the cameras for good:

"These cameras are history on San Diego streets."

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"These cameras are history on San Diego streets."

They are just tax revenue scams.

Feb. 1, 2013

Thanks to Mayor Bob Filner for dumping San Diego's red-light scameras! We now rejoin other civilized cities that have done the same -- LA, Pasadena, Houston and more.

Good riddance to the contractors who devised 'em, and to the out-of-state trolls who mail indecipherable tickets that cannot be contested in court, and to the outrageous $500 fines for making a split-second-tardy right-turn-on-red.

Instead of enriching scamera manufacturers in the private sector, let's embrace genuine traffic safety: lengthen the yellow light at intersections so that motorists can actually have time to prepare to stop. And have real cops issue tickets or warnings and educate the public about any infractions.

Feb. 1, 2013

Good riddance to the contractors who devised 'em, and to the out-of-state trolls who mail indecipherable tickets that cannot be contested in court, and to the outrageous $500 fines for making a split-second-tardy right-turn-on-red.

They CAN be contested, what made you think they could not be contested???

Feb. 1, 2013

I am fairly sure he meant that as a practical matter, they could not be contested. The time and cost associated with contesting ANY traffic citation is far too daunting for most drivers, and so they just cough up the fine. One reason for using those cameras is that for the cities, the cost of putting one traffic cop out on the street for eight hours is just outrageous. (Remember your rants about the overpaid GED cops, SurfPup? You were oh-so-right.) So, there is scant traffic enforcement in most of the county and statewide. The only city that I know of that really puts traffic cops out on the streets is Carlsbad, an affluent city with its own PD. (Watch your butt when you drive there! They are everywhere.) So, it will be interesting to see if the incidence of red light runners causing crashes increases at those formerly-photo-enforced intersections.

Feb. 2, 2013

Visduh, while on a certain level you are correct, but I would suggest ANY traffic ticket is worth fighting for today. I received yet ANOTHER seat belt ticket late last year (6 in last 7 years), and like all the others I set it for trial, except the cost of the bail/fine was now $214 instead of the $91 fine in 2005, the $114 fine in 2009 and now in 2012 we're over $200 for a seat belt ticket. You go to the court clerk and tell them you want a trial date and pay the fine= 30 minutes. You go to court on the trial date and argue your case= 1-2 hours. Total time invested =1.5-2.5 hours. A seat belt ticket fine is just PART of the costs, insurance rates get jacked for EACH AND EVERY one of your tickets- even seat belt tickets (not parking tickets of course, just moving violations). I lost (dumb cop even came in on his day OFF...grrrrrr..) this most recent seat belt ticket case (now on appeal) but it was still worth it. First case I have lost, out of 7, in last 10 years. 4 of the 7 were cop no shows, which is still a win., and your bail/fine money is 100% returned.

Feb. 2, 2013

So why not just wear the damned seat belt and not get ticketed in the first place???

Feb. 2, 2013

OK, let me set this straight, I DO WEAR the dumb seat belt, but on this short 1 mile trip to the store I had one of my dogs and just did not put it on because she was acting goofy......... It seems if I cheat on the seat belt just 5% of the time I get busted.

The fine is also a scam, the original fine for a seat belt violation the first year the law went into effect (1993??) was $25. Now 20 years later it is $214, a close to 1,000% increase in just 20 years.

Feb. 2, 2013

Ya' know SurfPup, I drive plenty every day. The spot where I live makes it impossible to go anywhere without being in a car or truck. It would take me an hour to walk to the nearest spot that sells bread or milk or beer, buy some and return home. And I've lived here for going on thirty years. So, I'm one of those "typical" So Cal car types. The last time I had a traffic citation was in 1984, and that was before I moved here, and that was on NB I-5 near Del Mar Heights Road on my way to work (for exceeding that ridiculous 55 mph "national" speed limit). Since then, zip, zilch, nada. What are doing that seems to attract all the traffic violations you describe? Drive a noisy red Corvette? Or Z-car? Maybe a jacked-up diesel-powered "bro dozer" truck? Or have some of sort of anti-police bumper sticker? (My bumper stickers are all going to get some slack. What are they? I'll leave that for you to guess. But none are of the "respect the police" variety. I don't.) Maybe you should examine those violations to determine why you got them in the first place.

Feb. 2, 2013

Or have some of sort of anti-police bumper sticker?

LOL..my violations have all been seat belt violations with one exception, a speeding ticket on the freeway 2 years ago (beat it), so I am actually a very good driver. But the seat belts are a problem for me.

Feb. 2, 2013

It was enacted 1986. The minimum 1st offense fine was increased to a base of $142 in 2010 The state legislature passed a bill several years ago, 8 or 10, that deleted the inclusion of penalty assessments and court costs in determining the maximum fine so I would guess that's how yours ended up at $214.

Feb. 3, 2013

The seatbelt law as not enacted in 86.

Feb. 4, 2013

Well, technically, you are correct as I worded my statement incorrectly. The California Mandatory Seat Belt Law was officially enacted on Sept. 30, 1985 and was EFFECTIVE on 1 Jan, 1986. It was originally a secondary enforcement violation and the fine at the time was $20 for a first offense and $50 for a subsequent violation. Waivers were give to medical personel, peace officers and newspaper delivery and rural mail carriers. At one point in 1986, 26 states and D.C. had mandatory seatbelt laws. However, the laws in Massachusetts and Nebraska were repealed their voters in the November 1986 elections. I don't recal the bill number, but it was introduced and sponsored by Willie Brown, who was also Assembly Speaker at the time. Interestingly enough, there was a "grace period" in which motorists found in violation will only be warned and not cited. CHP and LAPD/SD agreed on a 60 day period. The SDCSD apparently only gave a 7 day grace period. What bastards!!! LOL

Feb. 4, 2013

I thought it was passed in the early 1990's but cannot locate the exact date, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act ...

Feb. 4, 2013

Yeah, I know what you mean. It took me at least 20 seconds to go into Bing, type in "california manditory seatbelt law 1986" and find this:

http://articles.latimes.com/1985-12-31/news/mn-26203_1_mandatory-seat-belt-laws

BTW, if you're referring to the The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, that was in 1966. From that came the Automatic Occupant Protection Provision in in section 571.208 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which was announced by Sec Trans in 1984.

Feb. 4, 2013

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act established a mandatory seat belt law within the California Vehicle Code (CVC). The state Legislature approved the law to bring about a reduction in deaths and injuries

Canot find the date enacted

Feb. 4, 2013

surfpuppy619, get over it. It wasn't in the '90's. Table one, following page 4: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Publications/Bkground/BP87-03.pdf
It was AB 27 in 1985. You are probably thinking of the change from secondary enforcement to primary enforcement, which took place on Jan. 1, 1993

Feb. 5, 2013

You are probably thinking of the change from secondary enforcement to primary enforcement, which took place on Jan. 1, 1993

That sounds right, 93.

Feb. 5, 2013

Oh please, have you ever received one of these shakedowns? One CAN contest it, but then you lose. It's an exercise in futility.

Feb. 2, 2013

I have never received one, but if I did I can almost guarantee you with 100% accuracy I could beat it.

Feb. 2, 2013

Yahoo! I'm liking this new mayor more and more everyday. Unlike his self-serving predecessor, Filner is actually trying to make San Diego a nice place to live and does not concern himself with how he might feather his nest. What a breath of fresh air. Can't wait to see what's next.

Feb. 1, 2013

So I am just wondering when will the city remove all the paraphernalia associated with this program at all of the intersections? The poles, signs, cameras, and lighting strobes are an unnecessary eyesore now the program has officially been terminated. Or is this just another "I'll be back" circumstance?

Feb. 1, 2013

Bob Filner...I join Java in saying this is a real change for San Diego. Has the city ever had a leader like this?

He's actually acting like a strong Mayor who is interested in doing the right thing, not rewarding his friends with public money. I don't like Filner personally, but as a policy maker this guy is rocking my world.

  1. Supports medical marijuana

  2. Opposes Jacobs power grab at the park.

  3. Defies Papa Doug's demands for special treatment.

  4. Fires the Republican lobbyists.

  5. Revokes the red light cameras.

Holy cow! So far I'm impressed.

Feb. 1, 2013

I like Filner also. The public pension scam is one area I wish he would bend and change more on, with views supporting the taxpaying public.

Feb. 2, 2013

Trust me, Bob Filner will be the best mayor this city has ever had.

Feb. 2, 2013

Best ever??? Lets hope for the best, but I agree, I am liking Filner, despite the fact he caved in on employee pensions,but there are many issues being Mayor and I am not going to focus on just one, not when we had an Orca with a chimp IQ the last 6, 8 how ever many years KFC Sanders was in office.

Feb. 2, 2013
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