Red-light cameras in Bakersfield do not violate motorists' Constitutional rights, according to a California appeals court. In Jacquez v. City of Victorville, the three plaintiffs received red-light camera tickets in the city, and they claimed that the cameras were unconstitutional.
The Court relied heavily on People v. Goldsmith, the Supreme Court case that upheld red-light cameras, to refute each of the Plaintiffs' allegations. VC 21455 does authorize localities to install red-light cameras, and the Court interpreted this law as allowing governments to contract out many functions, as long as the city or county retained "overall control," whatever that means.
Essentially, the Plaintiffs claimed that the testifying police officers lacked personal knowledge, they were not properly trained to review the video evidence, they are unfamiliar with the software and that the camera's strobe lights violate the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
The Court ruled that the first three allegations were essentially a re-hash of Goldsmith, and it used the same analysis to strike them down. Basically, evidence in red-light camera cases is legal and reliable, because the Legislature made it legal and reliable by amending the Evidence Code. As for the strobe lights, the court rather weekly denied that the red-light camera lights were a safety hazard and, in any event, the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices did not create a private right of action. In other words, even if the strobes are illegal, there's nothing you can do about it in court.
Jacquez is an unpublished opinion from the Fourth Appellate District, so it has precedential value only in very limited circumstances.
There are still numerous procedural and factual defenses to red light camera tickets. Contact our office for a free phone consultation on your rights.