12/21/2004Bakersfield Caught With Illegally Short Yellow Signals
Bakersfield ignored a new California law extending yellow signal time at some intersections, but refuses to refund those caught by illegally short light.
Bakersfield, California has been caught a second time violating the law in order to issue automated citations. Earlier this year the city had to refund 300 red light camera tickets when it was discovered the signs required by law were never posted. Now the city has ticketed 1,400 drivers for driving through the same intersection where the yellow signal was .4 seconds shorter than the law allows. The vast majority of violations occur in the first few tenths of a second in all camera setups. The city refuses to issue refunds and is forcing individuals to go to court to get their money back.
This time city officials said they didn't notice a change in state rules that required them to extend the duration of the yellow light at Ming Avenue and South Real Road by four-tenths of a second to 3.9 seconds.Source: Officials admit yellow-light oversight (Bakersfield Californian, 12/20/2004)
They didn't catch it for two months -- between May 14 and July 20. In that time 1,409 tickets were issued to drivers who had run a red light, said Bakersfield police Detective Mary DeGeare.
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