A bill that regulates how cities use red-light cameras has passed the state Senate with a unanimous 36-0 vote.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, Senate Bill 29 requires that:
-- Warning signs be posted within 200 feet of intersections with cameras.
-- Installation sites be chosen on the basis of safety and not revenue-generating factors.
-- Tickets include information on whom the recipients can contact if they have questions.
-- "Snitch tickets," which ask the recipient to identify the driver, explain that the recipient doesn't have to incriminate themselves or the driver. Snitch tickets are traffic violation notices meant to identify the driver during the alleged violation.
San Jose resident Vera Gil suggested the legislation as part of Sen. Simitian's annual "There Oughta Be a Law" contest after she got multiple red-light camera tickets for a car in Southern California she doesn't own and has never driven.
"People who get tickets for someone else's car need a way to straighten things out," Ms. Gil said in a press release. "In my case, the license plate was one letter different than mine. I understand how that mistake happens, but it took weeks and weeks to clear-up. There was no information on who to call."
After passing the state Senate on May 16, the bill now goes to the Assembly for a hearing and vote.