California Appellate Court Tosses Red Light Camera Conviction

January 20, 2015 |

A Riverside man had a red light camera traffic conviction overturned by the State of California Fourth District Court of Appeal recently.

In an opinion published on Friday, January 9 finding for defendant Viktors Retke, the appellate court said the testimony of an expert witness overcame statutory presumption of the validity of the evidence obtained through the red light traffic enforcement. Riverside's system is operated by Redflex Traffic Systems, who provides red light camera systems municipalities nationwide, including Elk Grove. 

At the core of the defense case was the admission by the Redflex operator, a retired sheriff's deputy, that he could not verify the Redflex system had not been properly calibrated. 

In the wake of a Chicago bribery scandal, Phoenix-based Redflex has lost several municipal contracts nationwide. Additionally, many municipalities have pulled the plug on red light camera systems characterizing them as ineffective.  

A recent report by the Chicago Tribune found that while so-called t-bone intersection crashes decrease by 15-percent, there was a 22-percent increase in injury-causing rear end crashes.   

Last year, the Elk Grove City Council approved a five-year, $1.7 million dollar, five year contract renewal with Redflex.

The case is People v. Retcke, 15 S.O.S 143. 

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