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2/13/2005
CA Appeals Court Judge Delivers Setback to Cameras
An Orange County, California Superior Court appeals judge rules that the city of Costa Mesa violated the law with its red light camera program.

Orange County Courts
An Orange County, California Superior Court appeals judge ruled that the city of Costa Mesa violated the state vehicle code by failing to provide 30 days notice for all of the intersections using red light cameras and for allowing a separate agency to control and set signal timing.

Costa Mesa had announced the initial camera in their program, but failed to announce subsequent cameras or provide the required 30-day warning period for them. Caltrans, the state transportation agency, maintains the signals at two of the monitored intersections. The judge ruled that the same agency must control both the signals and the cameras.

Thomas Fischetti brought the case after receiving a $321 ticket for being 0.6 seconds into the red on a left-turn lane while following a semi truck. He was unable to see the signal in time. He isn't against the use of cameras but thought if he was to be held to account for a technicality, so should the city.

This is the second major legal setback for Costa Mesa. A judge ruled in June that yellow signal timing was too low at an intersection, forcing the city to cancel 779 citations that had been issued.

Article Excerpt:
"If they want to measure me with such precision and hold me to the letter of the law, then I'm going to hold them to that same standard," [Thomas Fischetti] said.
Source: Driver caught by camera at light beats ticket (Orange County Register (CA), 2/12/2005)

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