February 16, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

Aside from Nicolas Cage using a traffic camera to help him decipher an ancient Olmec tablet in National Treasure 2, those little cameras mounted next to traffic lights have caused nothing but headaches for people. Today, the 2nd District Court of Appeal dealt a heavy blow to the validity of those traffic cameras in all future cases.

Before we get into the decision, we need to rewind just a bit. Annette Borzakian, an attorney in Beverly Hills was issued a ticket after a traffic camera allegedly caught her blowing through an intersection. The validity of these traffic camera tickets have been fought, and deemed nearly unenforceable. But Borzakian took it one step further by asking for an opinion to be written on traffic cameras that can be cited in any traffic court in California from now on.

The opinion essentially states that the police officer who ultimately issues the ticket is not an expert on the technology involved in the traffic cameras, and as such, the officer has no credibility. This means that photos and videos of the incident are inadmissible in traffic court.
The written opinion affirms a 2010 case in the same jurisdiction. (People vs. Khaled 30-2009-304893)

In short, this means that it will be virtually impossible for any jurisdiction in California to enforce a traffic camera ticket without bringing in the manufacturer of the traffic camera to testify. Of course, if you don’t know the law, local law enforcement might try to pull a fast one and get you to pay that ticket anyway.

So share this will all of your friends and tell your family. You might end up saving them a few hundred dollars.

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