Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Driver's red-light camera victory could signal change


It took two years and six trips to court, but Bakersfield resident Diane Bevacqua finally beat a red-light camera ticket.

And her victory could, at least for a time, help stymie prosecution of the tickets, traffic lawyers say.
"This could end up killing that whole program," said Bill Slocumb, a Bakersfield attorney, about ramifications of appellate decisions in Bevacqua's case and one in Orange County.

But local police, who prosecute the violations, say there'll be no impact.

Last month, Bevacqua's ticket was thrown out on appeal by Kern County Superior Court Judge Colette Humphrey in part because the photos and video used to convict her came from a private company -- not from a public employee, as one section of the state evidence code requires.

The city's red-light camera system, like most around the country, is owned and operated by a private vendor. For Bakersfield, that's Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., part of a global firm based in Australia.
Bevacqua, 56, who with her husband owns local business Wallpapers ETCetera, was making a left turn from eastbound Stockdale Highway onto California Avenue on the afternoon of Sept. 15, 2008, when the telltale bright flashes popped.

To this day, she believes the left-turn arrow she was looking at -- the pole-mounted signal on the corner -- was yellow.

"My whole contention was basically over the light," said Bevacqua, who represented herself in court. "I didn't want to get off over a technicality." Read the rest of the story HERE

1 comment:

John.jubal said...

Home Run; now that's good news I like to hear :)!