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4/19/2007
San Francisco to Mount Ticket Cameras on Buses
Bus lane ticket cameras may be coming to San Francisco, California.

San Francisco bus
San Francisco, California Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) is importing more than just the congestion tax idea from London colleague Ken Livingstone. Newsom is planning to mount automated cameras on city buses that will send $100 fines to the owners of vehicles accused of "blocking" bus lanes. Fixed versions of the cameras have generated millions in revenue in the UK by ticketing motorists who stray into a bus lane for just a few moments, often while making a turn.

Before Newsom's plan can be implemented, however, the state legislature must authorize the concept of automated bus lane ticketing. The Assembly's majority whip, Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), last week introduced revised legislation that would enable automated bus ticketing, but only in San Francisco. Her bill amends parking laws to allow a ticket to be mailed to a vehicle's registered owner up to fifteen days after the alleged offense.

Article IV, Section 16 of the California Constitution prohibits the legislature from passing special laws for local jurisdictions. Ma's legislation declares San Francisco's bus lane problem "unique and special," requiring immediate action. Chicago has begun a bus lane ticketing program and New York is examining the possibility as well, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Article Excerpt:
BILL NUMBER: AB 101 AMENDED
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 12, 2007

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Ma

DECEMBER 21, 2006

An act to amend Section 40207 of, and to add Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 40240) to Chapter 1 of Division 17 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 40207 of the
Vehicle Code is amended to read:

40207. The notice of delinquent parking violation shall contain the information specified in subdivision (a) of Section 40202 or subdivision (a) of Section 40241, and Section 40203, and, additionally shall contain a notice to the registered owner that, unless the registered owner pays the parking penalty or contests the citation within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of the citation or 14 calendar days after the mailing of the notice of delinquent parking violation or completes and files an affidavit of nonliability which complies with Section 40208 or 40209, the renewal of the vehicle registration shall be contingent upon compliance with the notice of delinquent parking violation. If the registered owner, by appearance or by mail, makes payment to the processing agency within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of the citation or 14 calendar days after the mailing of the notice of delinquent parking violation, the parking penalty shall consist solely of the amount of the original penalty. No additional fees, assessments, or other charges shall be added.

SEC. 2. Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 40240) is added to Chapter 1 of Division 17 of the Vehicle Code , to read:

Article 3.5. Procedure on Videotaping Parking Violations Occurring in Transit-Only Lanes and During Posted Street Sweeping Hours

40240. (a) The City and County of San Francisco may install video cameras on public transit, as defined by Section 99211 of the Public Utilities Code, and other city-owned vehicles for the purpose of videotaping parking violations occurring in transit-only traffic lanes and during posted street sweeping hours.

(b) Prior to issuing notices of parking violations pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40241, the City and County of San Francisco shall commence a program to issue only warning notices for 30 days. The City and County of San Francisco shall also make a public announcement of the program at least 30 days prior to commencement of issuing notices of parking violations.

(c) A designated employee of the City and County of San Francisco shall review videotaped recordings for the purpose of determining whether a parking violation occurred in a transit-only traffic lane or during posted street sweeping hours. A violation of a statute, regulation, or ordinance governing vehicle parking under this code, under a federal or state statute or regulation, or under a ordinance enacted by the City and County of San Francisco occurring in a transit-only traffic lane or during posted street sweeping hours observed by the designated employee in the recordings is subject to a civil penalty.

(d) The registered owner shall be permitted to review the videotaped evidence of the alleged violation.

(e) Except as it may be included in court records described in Section 68152 of the Government Code, the videotaped evidence may be retained for up to six months from the date the information was first obtained, or until final disposition of the citation, whichever date is later, after which time the information shall be destroyed.

(f) For purpose of this article, "local agency" means the City and County of San Francisco.

40241. (a) A designated employee of the local agency shall issue a notice of a parking violation to the registered owner of a vehicle within 15 calendar days of the date of the violation. The notice of violation shall set forth the violation of a statute, regulation, or ordinance governing vehicle parking under this code, under a federal or state statute or regulation, or under an ordinance enacted by the City and County of San Francisco occurring in a transit-only traffic lane or during posted street sweeping hours, a statement indicating that payment is required within 21 calendar days from the date of citation issuance, and the procedure for the registered owner, lessee, or rentee to deposit the parking penalty or contest the citation pursuant to Section 40215. The notice of a parking violation shall also set forth the vehicle license number, registration expiration date, the color of the vehicle, and, if possible, the make of the vehicle. The notice of parking violation, or copy of the notice, shall be considered a record kept in the ordinary course of business of the City and County of San Francisco and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained in the notice. The City and County of San Francisco shall send information regarding the process for requesting review of the videotaped evidence along with the notice of parking violation.

(b) The notice of parking violation shall be served by depositing the notice in the United States mail to the registered owner's last known address listed with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(c) If, within 21 days after the notice of parking violation is issued, the local agency determines that, in the interest of justice, the notice of parking violation should be canceled, the local agency shall cancel the notice of parking violation pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40215. The reason for the cancellation shall be set forth in writing.

(d) Following an initial review by the local agency, and an administrative hearing, pursuant to Section 40215, a contestant may seek court review by filing an appeal pursuant to Section 40230.

(e) The City and County of San Francisco may contract with a private vendor for the processing of notices of parking violations and notices of delinquent violations. The City and County of San Francisco shall maintain overall control and supervision of the program.

SEC. 3. The Legislature finds and declares that this act, which is applicable only to the City and County of San Francisco, is necessary because of the unique and special problems associated with parking violations in transit-only lanes and during street sweeping hours in that city and county. It is, therefore, hereby declared that a general law within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution cannot be made applicable to that city and county and the enactment of this special law is necessary for the videotape enforcement of parking violations in transit-only lanes and during street sweeping hours for the public good.
Source: Muni is watching (San Francisco Examiner, 4/19/2007)

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