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Lower Fines For Red Light ViolatorsLargely in response to public anger over the issue, a proposed measure would slash the fine for a rolling stop through a stoplight in Bakersfield.

Statistics vary, but according to most statistics, the vast majority of red light camera violators are motorists who do not come to a complete stop before making a right turn on a red light; in San Francisco, these infractions account for 98 percent of the red light camera citations. Senate Bill 681, which is currently in committee, would reduce the total fine for “California stops” from $490 to $250. State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) recently reintroduced the legislation after it died in the previous session.

The government estimates that rolling right turns cause about 0.04 percent of Kern County traffic crashes.

Revenue v Safety

Theoretically, traffic ticket fines reflect a balance between these two competing interests. Both of them are legitimate: the government needs money and roads need to be safe. But traffic ticket fines have increased exponentially in recent years, and according to many, the scales are hopelessly out of balance.

Now, instead of a way to encourage drivers to be more careful, penalty assessments are little more than a back-door tax increase. That is why this measure, and others like it, has failed before, and it will probably fail again. When legislators hand out tax breaks, which are few and far between as it is, the beneficiaries will never be traffic ticket violators.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

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