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California's leading red-light company claims the Court of Appeals got it wrong, and it wants the Supreme Court to make it right.

Redflex petitioned the justices to depublish California v. Retke, which challenged the legality of red-light cameras. Unpublished cases have no precedential value in The Golden State. Michael Stewart, the company's attorney, told the court that the case "would cause confusion in the traffic courts and in the public." Mr. Stewart also attacked the court's finding, pointing out that Mr. Retke's expert never actually reviewed the video evidence. Mr. Retke's attorney countered that Redflex did not turn over the video until very late in the process, so the expert did not have the opportunity to examine it. He also reminded the justices that the red-light camera was 40 percent obstructed.

The Supreme Court has the final say as to which cases are published.

The Retke case puts forth two very good defenses to a red-light camera ticket in Bakersfield. The yellow light is often a fraction of a second too short, meaning that the camera snaps a picture too early while a vehicle is still in the intersection. In addition, additional signage, and sometimes the traffic signals themselves, often make these cameras very difficult to see, especially from odd angles.

Sometimes the cameras do not record a vehicle stop; for example, a car may stop so briefly prior to making a right turn on red that the camera cannot tell that the car stopped moving. Red-light cameras also fail to account for time of day. A person who rolls through a red light at three in the morning is clearly no threat to others on the roadway, which was supposedly the reason these cameras were set up in the first place.

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