Red Light Cameras No More in Los Angeles! Warning…

No red light cameras

    Great news! The Red Light Cameras ceased being in operation in Los Angeles as of July 31, 2011.  However, heed the following announcement from the Los Angeles Superior Court Website:

The City of Los Angeles has decided to end its red light camera program on July 31, 2011. The City's action does not stop the processing of outstanding red-light citations. It does not eliminate penalties associated with red-light citations. It does not constitute grounds for a refund of any money paid on such a citation. Anyone issued a red-light citation must resolve it within the specified time limits or face certain penalties as prescribed by law.

In other words, if you received a red light ticket on or before July 31, 2011 you still need to pay it or fight it!!

 

Red Light Camera Ticket? You Can Fight It!!!

Red light camera Wow, have you ever run a red light and then see that red light camera flash bulb go off?  Then, just as expected, that nasty ticket came in the mail?  You knew you were a goner, right?  Well, maybe not! A California Appeals Court recently came down with a decision in The People v. Tarek Khaled which rendered the photographs inadmissible as hearsay and, on that basis, overturned a the conviction for running a red light based on the red light photo!

The ruling, in part, reads as follows: "To be more specific, the photographs contain hearsay evidence concerning the matters depicted in the photographs including the date, time, and other information."  Here are some relevant bullet points:

  • Person who entered relevant info into camera-computer system did not testify
  • Person who entered that information was not subject to cross-examination
  • Person(s) who maintain the system did not testify
  • No one with personal knowledge testified about how often system is maintained or how often date and time are verified or corrected
  • Custodian of records for company that contracts with city to maintain, monitor, store, and disperse the photographs did not testify
  • Person with direct knowledge of workings of the camera did not testify
  • The person who did testify, Santa Ana Police Officer Alan Berg, had attended a training session in the distant past about the overall workings of the system.  He could not testify about specific procedure for programming and storage of system information

Bottom line: All is not lost!!!  Hire yourself an attorney experienced in red light camera tickets.

Here are some interesting and useful red light camera links:

Photo Enforced Camera Database: Intersections, Locations and Fines throughout U.S.

Los Angeles Police Department Photo Red Light FAQ's

Fighting Red Light Camera Tickets: HighwayRobbery.net

National Motorists Association: All Kinds of Interesting Links about Red Light Cameras

My Past Traffic Ticket Postings: Some very interesting articles

Hey, I'm not advocating that you run red lights.  Obviously it's always safety first. 

Questions?
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2009 Laws: Text Messaging in California Video – Don’t Do It While Driving!

TextmessagedrivingWe all know how dangerous and annoying it is to text while driving.  How about the person crawling in front of you at 10 miles per hour because they’re “safely” texting.  Don’t think that this little stunt increases safety!  Or the person so involved in their texting that they don’t notice the car in front of them coming to a halt?  Well, California has taken care of this issue once and for all (we hope).  See video below.

This new law makes it an infraction to write, send, or read
text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications
device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle in
California. Previously this was only illegal for individuals under 18
years of age, but now has been expanded to all drivers.

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10 Cars The Cops Love to Ticket

Hummer
Thanks to U.S. News and World Report for their article on the 10 cars that cops love to ticket.  It's a pretty fascinating list with some surprises (at least to me).  I've culled the Internet to find representative photos of the cars and added an interesting link to each one for your reading enjoyment.  In line with this article, I would suggest that you read A Guideline for Handling Traffic Tickets by Michael Klijian, Esq.

The data in their article was produced by a survey conducted by ISO Quality Planning, an outfit that helps insurers spot and assess risks.  This is a polite way of saying that ISO helps insurance companies determine which cars deserve the highest insurance rates. 

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Here's the list:

1.    Hummer H2: Per the Hummer site: "In a world where SUVs have begun to look like their owners, complete with love handles and mushy seats, the H2 SUV proves that there is still one out there that can drop and give you 20.  And with a more spacious, comfortable interior and a host of standard features, the H2 strikes a perfect balance between interior comfort, on-road capability, and off-road capability.  Starting at $63,765."  It can drop and give you 20?  With testosterone to spare.

Scion tc
2.    Scion tC: Designed to appeal to the Generation Y market, it ranks as an affordable car with the following stats:

MSRP: $17,000 – $17,800
Invoice: $16,150 – $16,910
MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy

Not so affordable, though, it it's a ticket magnet.

Scion xb
3.     Scion xB: What's with the Scion's?  Look down the list and you'll see that the Scion xA rates as the number 7 most adored by our men in blue.  Well, according to Edmunds.com the x8 is "Attracting the coveted 18-to-34-year-old age group is job one for
Scion, the youth-oriented division of Toyota, and its xB wagon is the
fashion centerpiece of the brand. Although the Scion xB has the body of
a miniature delivery truck, even in its second generation this box
still casts a distinctive silhouette."  Apparently the silhouette looks like a solid object when zipping down the highway and byways.

Clk 63
4.    Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG: Luxury, speed, beauty and handling.  Unfortunately, you may get slowed down by the red lights flashing behind you.  Auto-power-girl.com says "Cars from the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz have always been considered
as something rather special. With the introduction of the Black Series
models, this is more evident than ever before, and the CLK 63 AMG Black
Series is considered by many as the ultimate driving machine. At
Kleemann however, they saw it as just another interesting challenge,
and the result is one of the most fascinating and uncompromising
Kleemann cars ever."

Toyota solara coupe
5.    Toyota Solara Coupe:  This looks like such a benign car.  What is it about this car that attracts the law?  It's essentially a 2 door Camry.  Well, I'm stumped on this one.  Here are the 2008 stats from Yahoo: "Upon introduction, the SE 5-Spd MT is equipped with
a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 155-horsepower engine that achieves 21-mpg in
the city and 31-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed manual transmission with
overdrive is standard. The SLE Convertible is equipped with a standard
3.3-liter, V6, 210-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city
and 26-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with
overdrive is standard."  From the low $20,000's.

Cls 63 amg
6.    Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG: According to Leftlanenews.com "It’s Mercedes-Benz’s stab at trying to convince the consumer that a four-door sedan
is in reality a coupe. But it has been thoroughly massaged by Mercedes’
in-house tuner, AMG, to supply the ultimate in go-fast goodstuffs.
Sharing lots of platform underpinnings from its E-Class sister-ship, it
looks like it could also have been the better-looking,
separated-at-birth sibling of the Chrysler 300C."  Bottom line is that this is a sleek, fast, sporty car that has caught the attention of the law.

Scion xa
7.    Scion xA:  Again, an innocuous looking car that's been able to capture the imagination of law enforcement.  Well, maybe the gas mileage of 32 city, 38 highway will compensate for the ticket that one might get in this 1.5 liter compact.

Subaru outback
8.    Subaru Outback:   I like what US News and World Report says about this car: "Subarus have a reputation of being yuppie grocery getters, but the Outback manages to prove that stereotype wrong by being one of the top ten most ticketed cars.  Apparently, the Outback is the car of choice for people who need to get tot Whole Foods in a hurry, and maybe park illegally once they're there." 

Audi a4
9.    Audi A4:  Maybe the U.S. News and World Report Review of the Audi A4 will shed light on why the police love to ticket the Audi A4: "The 2009 Audi A4 steals a page from Ferrari with its Audi Drive Select system.  It
allows the driver to select from three performance profiles, changing
the car from a quiet commuter to an aggressive sport sedan to a solid
wet-weather gripper.  But the car is still not as powerful as other German luxury sedans.  Continue with our full
Performance Review for details on the car’s two available engines."

Toyota matrix
10.    Toyota Matrix:  Credited for bringing SUV styling to small cars, it is now credited with bringing insurance rate increases to its owners.  Another cute car that's setting the road on fire.  I found a link to the Toyota Matrix Owners Forum.  Maybe that site will provide some insight into this phenomenon.

I hope you've enjoyed this article.  Although most of my blog postings focus on legal issues as they relate to personal injury, I thought that this information was both entertaining and informative while being somewhat relevant to the clients that I represent. After all, aren't traffic tickets designed to deter people from driving dangerously?  I hope so.

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If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Cell Phone Laws for 2008: What You Need To Know (and more!)

Nocellphone As you know by now, I'm a great proponent of the new California hands-free law which goes into effect on July 1, 2008.  I blogged about it in May: Click Here.  A corollary, of course, are my rants and raves about texting while driving: Click here, here, here and here.

So, I've decided to post (yet again) on this subject and provide several useful links to articles, videos and hands-free equipment vendors below.

Homefeature_driveandphone What to Expect from California's New Hands-Free Law: The Public Policy Institute of California writes the following press release:

Update: 2009 Law Bans Text Messaging while Driving – See Video

As of July 1, 2008, California drivers must use hands-free technology when talking on a mobile phone, and drivers under age 18 may not use a mobile phone at all while driving. This study examines how fatalities changed in states after a hands-free law was enacted, compared to states without a hands-free law. The findings indicate that mobile phone ownership is associated with higher traffic fatality rates in bad weather, on wet roads, and in rush-hour traffic. California’s new law should lead to some 300 fewer traffic fatalities a year. However, to gain the full benefit of the law, California should concentrate its enforcement efforts during adverse driving conditions, and public education about the law ─ and about the distraction and danger of using a mobile phone in the first place ─ should be an important component in implementing the law, which could help change behavior that enforcement alone might not achieve.  Read the entire press release here

Other Useful Links

Video Satire: Still Legal to Eat, Knit or Dress While Driving (L.A. Times: Dan Neill's Hands Free Alternatives)

If there's a fatal car accident, a violator of the hand-held ban could face a felony charge, some experts say: California Cell Phone Law May Be More Costly Than $20 (L.A. Times Article)

Hands Free Phones in California Will Save Lives (Public Policy Institute of California: By Jed Kolko, research fellow, Public Policy Institute of California)

Frequently Asked Questions About the New Hands-Free Cell Phone Laws (L.A. Can't Drive)

Guide to Handling Traffic Tickets by Mike Klijian, Esq.

Video: The Future orf Hands Free Devices (Youtube)

Video: Hands Free Cell Phone Spoof (Ameriquest)

Purchase Hands-Free Items Below

Hands Free Cell Phone Kits (Pricegrabber.com)

Hands Free Cell Phone Headsets (Pricegrabber.com)

*****************************************************************************************************************************

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at          (323) 852-1100       

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

A Guideline For Handling Traffic Tickets by Michael Klijian, Esq.

Mike_klijian_cropped_4 I asked attorney Michael Klijian to write an article regarding the handling of traffic tickets.  Mr. Klijian’s practice focuses on defending drivers who have been ticketed for any and all types of traffic infractions in and around the Greater Los Angeles area, Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley

. He handles each matter with the utmost of intregity, professionalism and skill. Mr. Klijian has proved to be a passionate advocate of Southern California drivers.

A Guideline For Handling Traffic Tickets

by Michael Klijian, Attorney at Law

There are many different violations that drivers are cited for on a daily basis. My attempt will be to provide you with a basic guideline as to the steps that should be taken in order to resolve your matter. First, and foremost, never let the “due date” of the citation expire. This crucial date is listed below your signature on the citation itself. If a “due date” expires, then you most likely will have a failure to appear and have your citation referred to collections. When this happens, your bail or fine amount increases drastically and will cause a hold being placed on your driver’s license.

Most courts, will allow a one time extension of 60 days of your initial due date. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the citation, this may be a desired option. Whether the extension is obtained or not, the next step would be to go to the Court listed on the bottom of the citation and set the matter for a court appearance known as an arraignment. At the arraignment, a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty would be entered. This is not your trial date and the citing officer would not be appearing on that date. Typically, as an attorney, I would recommend setting your case for trial. If one enters a plea of not guilty and sets a matter for trial, the bail amount must be posted with the Court guaranteeing your appearance for trial. Under some circumstances, partial bail is acceptable or even better, a release on your own recognizance (“OR”).

The date set for trial is where you get to have “your day in court.” The citing officer will be subpoenaed to appear and will testify as to the circumstances of your traffic citation. Then you will have an opportunity to cross-examine (ask questions of) the officer. Finally, if you wish to give up your right to remain silent, then you may provide statements or argument to the court depicting your version of what happened on the date and time of the incident.

YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO COUNSEL on traffic infraction matters, however, an attorney can be retained at your own expense. By doing so, you need not appear in court to set an arraignment, be present at the arraignment, or even for trial. Your attorney can handle everything from beginning to end.

Why would you need an attorney to handle your traffic citation?

1.      Getting a traffic ticket (infraction) can lead to countless hours of your precious time spent in court:

a.       First you would go to court to get a court date for an arraignment where you would enter a plea.

b.      Then you would go to court for you arraignment, enter a plea, post bail, and get a trial date.

c.       And finally, of course, you would go to trial.

2.      We can help keep points off your driving record by taking your traffic matter to trial.

Most people just pay their traffic citations and don’t realize that by doing so, they may get a point or more on their driving record.  Thereby, increasing your chances of losing your license for excessive points.

3.      Getting points on your driving record will cause your auto insurance rates to increase.

By getting points on your driving record, your auto insurance rates will increase. Thus, in the long run, it is more cost effective to obtain legal representation to go to court for you and fight your ticket rather than paying more for insurance. And, of course, as we all know, insurance rates always seem to go up and not down.

If we handle your matter, in most instances, you would never have to go to court for these time consuming court appearances and most likely would not have to post bail prior to trial.

We can help you with:

– Traffic Tickets

– Traffic Misdemeanors

– DUI Offenses

– Suspended Driver’s License

– Failures to Appear or Warrants

– Overweight Tickets

– Excessive Points on Your Record

Our Expert Attorneys Provide The Highest Legal Service to Protect Your Rights and Secure The Best Possible Outcome For Your Case!!!

Here are just a few examples:

A client was charged with violating California Vehicle Code Section 22348(b) – speeding at 128 m.p.h. and was about to lose his license, our expert attorneys were able to reduce this violation to basic speeding and secure traffic school for the client. Thus, our client received no points on his driving record and his automobile insurance rates were not affected.

One client was cited for an overweight truck and was assessed a total fine of over $14,000 and our attorneys were able to file and argue a motion to have the case reopened in Court and eventually have the fine reduced to under $1,700. Saving our client over $12,300 in Court fines!!!

A misdemeanor complaint was filed against a client for driving on a suspended license and other related counts, and yet, due to our expert attorney’s legal arguments, the case was dismissed.

Another client, cited for traveling at 105 m.p.h. in the City of

Los Angeles

, had his case dismissed due to our attorney’s strategic planning and efforts during trial.

A client completely ignored five traffic citations he had received during a one year period causing his driver’s license to be suspended, our attorney’s set all five of his cases for trial in the same Court and got a dismissal for each and every one. Our client was extremely pleased to learn that his driver’s license was no longer suspended and that none of the citations would go on his driving record.

And keep in mind, red light camera tickets are almost always dismissed. However, keep in mind, that you must contact our office first before doing anything else.

There is no guarantee that Mr. Klijian can provide you with similar results because the facts of each case are unique.

You can reach Attorney Mike Klijian at (213) 386-1990 or klijian_esq@hotmail.com

*****************************************************************************************************************************

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com