Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

Latest post Fri, Jun 21 2013 12:11 AM by GF78. 47 replies.
  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 1:29 AM

    • Sharon Lee
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    Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    I received a Red Light Photo Enforcement Ticket in the city of Sherwood,Oregon.I have been turning at his intersection for 30 years with no problems. They have never enforced this before.

     Sherwood has the reputation of being a "speed trap" for decades. Now they have put 4 cameras at the intersection of Pacific highway and Roy Rogers and 1,800 people were cited in the first month they were installed! The corporation which installed the system derives revenue from each citation issued.

    I was cited for a "rolling right turn." The ticket is a whopping $289. They estimate the yearly revenue from this intersection will be $1.5 million. Most states charge $50-$100 for this right turn on a red.

    As far as I am concerned this is a scam to suck money out of people. The intersection signage presents just a red light and a simple right turn arrow black and white sign and is not clearly marked as "photo enforced."

    I want to change the venue for my trial and if I lose I want to appeal this. (I pleaded "not guilty") I want to change it because the same judge presides over the juried portion of this trial and I don't think he will be fair as the city has a lot to lose if these tickets are successfully challenged.

    How can I change the venue for my trial in Oregon for this type of ticket which is considered a crime?

    How can I appeal the decision of the court if I lose at trial?

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 3:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    Sharon Lee:
    How can I change the venue for my trial in Oregon for this type of ticket which is considered a crime?

    If your only argument is that the judge won't be fair because he's on the city payroll, you'll lose any change of venue request. All judges are paid by the government; doesn't make them biased in favor of the government. You'd need more than that to get the venue changed.

    By the way, failure to obey a traffic control device (e.g. a stop light) under Oregon Revised Statute section 811.265 is NOT a crime. It is a traffic violation (specifically a class B traffic violation). This distinction is important as it affects the process used to handle the case. See a general discussion that difference in an article by the Oregon Bar titled "Should I Fight My Traffic Ticket."

    Sharon Lee:
    How can I appeal the decision of the court if I lose at trial?

    File the appeal notice with the appropriate court.

    But understand that the issue for the trial is whether you in fact ran the red light, not that you don't like the photo radar enforcement system or that in your opinion it's a "scam." Did you run the light? If not, can you prove it?

    Sharon Lee:
    Most states charge $50-$100 for this right turn on a red.

    But of course what other states fine people for the same offense is irrelevant to the case. What matters is what Oregon law provides.

    Sharon Lee:
    Now they have put 4 cameras at the intersection of Pacific highway and Roy Rogers and 1,800 people were cited in the first month they were installed!

    Also not relevant to your defense. How many others were caught has nothing to do with the issue in your case: did you violate the traffic rule?

    Besides, it's not suprising that initially a lot of people get caught -- that tends to be the case when cameras are first installed. The fact is, lots of people run red lights, even if it's just by a second or two. A machine that constantly watches the intersection will of course mean a lot more tickets than a cop who might watch the intersection for a short time here and there during the month. As residents get used to the cameras being there, they learn to be more careful and the tickets go down.

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 10:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    Sharon Lee:
    I was cited for a "rolling right turn."

    You didn't come to a full stop.

    You know you did it. You probably always do it.

    So don't blame the cameras for catching you breaking the law.

     

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 12:18 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    Sharon Lee:
    I received a Red Light Photo Enforcement Ticket in the city of Sherwood,Oregon.I have been turning at his intersection for 30 years with no problems

    If you've traveled this route for thirty years, then I presume you are also quite familiar with how many accidents (including serious and fatal) there have been on Highway 99 in the Sherwood area.

    Sharon Lee:
    Sherwood has the reputation of being a "speed trap" for decades. Now they have put 4 cameras at the intersection of Pacific highway and Roy Rogers and 1,800 people were cited in the first month they were installed! The corporation which installed the system derives revenue from each citation issued.

    I haven't lived in the Portland area for more than ten years and during that time only drove that stretch of highway a few times while I lived there.  I do, remember, however that it was quite congested and visibility (fog, rain, etc.) can be quite poor.  It's also an old highway that hasn't been updated (from an engineering standpoint) in decades.  Although I don't know exactly where Roy Rogers is, I REMEMBER VERY WELL this time last year driving through the area when I would drive at night from my late mom's room at OHSU to a step-sister's house in McMinnville.  Of course, it was dark and often raining.  At night, especially, visibility is POOR.

    Yes, Sherwood (and all towns and cities in Oregon) as well as the state itself desperately need revenue.  The last time I checked, Oregon had the second highest unemployment rate (second only to Michigan).  That alone has caused a huge loss in income tax revenue.  (As you know, of course, Oregon doesn't have a sales tax -- other than some special taxes in some municipalities on things like entertainment, lodging, tobacco, etc., so it doesn't benefit from people who cross over for duty-free shopping.)  The other major tax (high realty taxes) has also declined along with home prices.

    All of the last two paragaphs of rants aside, the REASONS for why the traffic cams were installed is irrelevant (likely safety first, revenue second), if the camera shows you violated the law through a rolling stop, you probably do not have a defense.

     

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 2:35 PM In reply to

    • Sharon Lee
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    "No offense" (pardon the pun) but I get the impression that you are mainly interested in supporting the status quo which is to allow municipalities to intimidate drivers with machines. It is contradictory that your blog contains graphics that give a patriotic Minute Man theme in support of the Second Amedment while you seem to favor Big Brotherism.

    The problem with the cameras is that they do not give the taxpayer the right to confront one's accuser, which is a First Amendment Constitutional right, among others. There is no actual police officer on the scene, just a carved in stone system which benefits the city and the corporation which owns the cameras. In other words the "no contest" option offered implies no chance of prevailing against the machines- you are guilty-hands down. (See: National Motorists Association Red Light Cameras NMA Objections To Red-Light Cameras Objection#2 There is no certifiable witness to the alleged violation

    Many have aurgued the lights are "rigged" in favor of the city. How does the victim defend himself against that?

    Furthermore, current evidence concludes that the Red Light Photo System does not decrease crashes but rather increases the rear-end crash. These findings have prompted action on the part of legislatures. This is the current trend. Now, (2011) in the Washington State Legislature, a bill has been introduced to outlaw these cameras. (See HB 1823 and SB 5716 "Repealing the Authorization for Automated Safety Cameras.")

    Also, go to the Lawyers.com article entitled: Local Governments Respond To the Tough Economy and Traffic Tickets: A Stream of Cash to read in depth their opinion that traffic tickets are being used to cover increasing city revenue shortfalls.

    Finally, Oregon law addresses the issue of potential crashes caused by cameras in ORS 811.360 (2)  "A person commits an offense of improper turn at a stop light if the person does any of the following while making a turn described in this section:(b) Fails to excercise care to avoid an accident."

    Is it your opinion that we make ourselves an immoveable object in an intersection while the truck behind us plows into our rear-end causing possibly lifelong crippling?

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 2:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    "The problem with the cameras is that they do not give the [accused] the right to confront one's accuser, which is a First Amendment Constitutional right, among others."

    Not exactly.  Once the camera triggers when the light changes and the photos are taken, the next thing that happens is an officer reviews the photos that the system selected as violations.  If it is not a clear cut violation then they are to toss the photo and not issue a citation.  Once the citation is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle then the option is to pay the ticket or go to court.  When the citation is mailed they are supposed to include a copy of the photo with it.  If you opt to go to court the DA will represent the state and the cop who reviewed the photo evidence will testify to the process and the equipment.  You will have the opportunity to question him/her and dispute their evidence.  

    "Many have aurgued the lights are "rigged" in favor of the city. How does the victim defend himself against that?"

    You can sit at that very intersection with a video camera and a stop watch and time the lights.  If it conforms to state law regarding timing of the light then there is no argument.  If it impossibly short in order to legally access the intersection you have a valid defense.

    "Furthermore, current evidence concludes that the Red Light Photo System does not decrease crashes but rather increases the rear-end crash."

    Actually they do decrease T-Bone crashes in intersections.  They are not meant to decrease rear-end collisions.  ALL rear end collisions are the fault of the second driver following too closely not the first driver obeying a traffic signal.  We have the red light cameras here in GA and they have worked SO well in most areas that the municipalities are now losing money on them because the system and the company who operates them is costing more than the revenue they are generating from violations.  Traffic accidents in red light camera intersections are now almost non-existent in our state.  

    "Is it your opinion that we make ourselves an immoveable object in an intersection while the truck behind us plows into our rear-end causing possibly lifelong crippling?"

    Don't be ridiculous.  If the light is yellow you should be slowing down to STOP.  If the truck behind you is going THAT fast even an intersection without a red light camera is not going to prevent an accident.   

    "Also, go to the Lawyers.com article entitled: Local Governments Respond To the Tough Economy and Traffic Tickets: A Stream of Cash to read in depth their opinion that traffic tickets are being used to cover increasing city revenue shortfalls."

    No one disputes that traffic citations are a source of revenue.  We just don't agree that your planned defense is going to work.  Not because of a vast conspiracy but because they have photo proof that you broke the law.  Scroll back through the other threads where people have been cited by a living breathing officer and want to dispute that his/her testimony isn't valid as reliable evidence.  Photo evidence cuts right to the quick:  it's your car and it is in the intersection after the light turned red.  Be prepared that the officer will also bring the series of photos before and after the shot that got you the citation showing exactly what time you entered the intersection.  The only defense I have seen to a red light camera citation is someone else was driving and the offense is transferred to the legal driver instead of the registered owner or error in entering tag number and the wrong car was cited.  

    Feel free to come back to this thread and update us on how your defense goes.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 3:53 PM In reply to

    • Sharon Lee
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    • OR
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    ClydesMom:

    The point of my argument is obviously to contest the Red Light Enforcement System in Oregon as the Washington State Legislature is doing right now. Somebody in Washington spent a lot of time putting this bill together and it looks like many of the legislators agree with the bill as the SB portion is on the docket. That means some citizen proposed it, a committee in the House agreed with him and sent it to the full House which voted "Yes" and sent it to the Senate. We will see, but if it loses we will be back.

    I have been a Citizen Lobbyist and an activist on a number of issues down at the Oregon Legislature for many years and plan to make this issue TOP PRIORITY.

    In these cases which are important on principal, whether one wins or loses initially in court, is not the point. The point is that if you feel there is an injustice you (still) have the right to fight it in America.Thousands of us across the country ( in a number of states) are not going to stand for these systems remaining in place and because we are activists we will eventually win because we think camera controlled law enforcement is not American and not fair. That is the real issue. We want to stop this before there are cameras on every street corner,which though an exaggeration,is possible at some future time.

    Is it your opinion that Americans should just roll over and not bother trying to defend themselves in a court of law if a camera is involved? You are very trusting of bureaucrats indeed.

    Have you read It Can Happen Here? This is not a "conspiracy theory" it is in the initial stages of becoming a reality right now.

    Have you dutifully entered the x-ray cookers in the airports and allowed the outrage of being forced to be photographed naked before you can fly? Did you know that Michael Chernoff, former Head of Homeland Security in the Bush administration is part owner of the company which places these airport security x-ray machines?

     It is astounding what Americans are willing to roll over for these days!

    Sorry-God help us all if we put up with this.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    Feel free to respond,

    Dylan's Mom

     

     

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 4:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    "Is it your opinion that Americans should just roll over and not bother trying to defend themselves in a court of law if a camera is involved? You are very trusting of bureaucrats indeed."

    Not at all.  I just don't also subscribe to the theory that merely because it is a camera photographing the evidence and not a live person means it is tainted and done solely to fleece the tax payers either.  

    "Have you dutifully entered the x-ray cookers in the airports and allowed the outrage of being forced to be photographed naked before you can fly? Did you know that Michael Chernoff, former Head of Homeland Security in the Bush administration is part owner of the company which places these airport security x-ray machines?"

    NO.  I believe the scanners and the TSA "pat down" are violations of the 4th Amendment and you can read my entire debate/argument about it here:  http://community.lawyers.com/forums/t/107916.aspx

    I refuse to fly until they come up with a better less invasive plan.  

    I do not blindly follow government but I don't over react when I get a traffic ticket either.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 5:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    Sharon Lee:
    There is no certifiable witness to the alleged violation

    But the fact that there is no live witness to the offense doesn't make it invalid. Many crimes have no live witnesses. In many murders, for example, the only possible witness is the one lying dead on the floor. Yet we prosecute and convict people of crimes every day when there was no witness to it. How? Because the state has other evidence supporting the guilt of the accused that is sufficient to conclude he/she commited the offense. Further, while the testimony of witnesses is the oldest form of evidence, studies show is among the least reliable evidence.

    I see nothing "un-American" about red light enforcement cameras. The cameras are not pointed at any private place or activity—they are pointed at public roadways. And, properly implemented, they are more accurate at spotting violations of the law than having any officer posted there to look for violations. They are also, of course, more cost-effective than having an officer posted there.

    If citizens as a whole don't like them and don't want them, they are free to lobby the legislature for the change and the legislature will respond. I'll be among those opposing you should you come to my state to lobby for it, however. IMO, the benefits of this enforcement outweigh the burdens. The great thing about this country is that we are free to debate this kind of thing.

  • Sun, Feb 13 2011 5:51 PM In reply to

    • Sharon Lee
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    Clyde's Mom:

    Well, thanks for the great response. Osama Bin Laden made the statement that his goal was to completely destroy the American way of life.

    He has come a long way to succeeding, at least with the flying public. I agree with you that I also would not fly if it meant my 5 year old son would have to take his shirt off and be,essentially, the equivelant of being molested by a TSA agent (which is currently being done.) Good for you! (See Images Google)

    But do you think your choices should be:

    a. Be photographed naked and possibly be subjected to having your picture dumped all over the internet by low life, underpaid, possibly  molesting TSA agents? (that actually happened)

    b. Being groped by an agent who totally invades your bodily privacy (an "unreasonable search "since none of this works according to the experts.This will not make anyone "safer" just more humiliated. The way they do it in Israel does work: very sophistocated person by person terrorist profiling)

     c. Allowing your underaged teenaged daughter or son to be groped by an adult TSA agent.

    d. Never again fly on an airplane.( Not real convienient and no one believes you won't.)

    You cite Dennis Miller as your go-to guy.

    I would direct you to people who agree with me:

    Lawyers.com (cited before)

    The Washington State House of Representatives

    The National Motorists Association

    and the guy who runs the website: www.highway robbery.net  (Boy is he mad! It's fun to read though)

    Ben Franklin who said:

    "Anyone who trades freedom for security deserves neither."

    By the way I agree with you on the other point: NO ONE SHOULD BE FREE TO BARREL THROUGH A RED LIGHT AND KILL SOMEBODY. THAT'S MANSLAUGHTER.

    Slowing down to a crawl and making a right turn to get out of the way of an oncoming crash is not "over-reacting" and required by Oregon law and hardly the equivalent.

    Maybe the American people will someday come out of their stupor. Meanwhile some of us are not dead yet.

    Gotta go. Busy. Cheers!

    Dylan's Mom-Hey don't take these blogs so personally. We are all invisable. What if we had to actually give our names, addresses and phone numbers?

     

  • Mon, Feb 14 2011 2:24 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    Sharon Lee:
    Osama Bin Laden made the statement that his goal was to completely destroy the American way of life.

    You've made quite a leap from a red light camera ticket to Bin Laden.  That said, start a petition in your community to vote to cameras out.  They did that recently in Houston and successfully voted them out.  Only problem is that the red light company has a valid contract with the city and they aren't budging on cancelling the contract.  The mayor ordered the cameras turned off.  The company is not issuing tickets at this time, but has left them operational in order to fulfill their portion of the contract.  The company recently reported that there has been an 85% increase in the running of red lights since enforcement was stopped. 

    How 'bout them apples?

    My personal opinion after the mayor turned them off was for the PD to post mulitple police units at each of the camera intersections and write a ticket for EVERY violation.  That way, all of the afrieved citizens could deal with the ticket as a bonafide traffic offense, thereby facing points on their license and increases in their insurance rates.  Personally I would prefer the civil citation and make sure I didn't run any more red lights.

    So, start your petition today and see what happens.

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • Mon, Feb 14 2011 3:29 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    "They have never enforced this before."

    If that is your defense you are wasting your time. They are free to start to enforce tha law.

  • Mon, Feb 14 2011 3:31 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    You've been reading weirdo web sites, haven't you?

    The government is your accuser. You have the right to confront it by challenging the photo - if you can show the car is not yours, it did not turn on red, etc.

    If you did it, there's nothing to confront.

  • Mon, Feb 14 2011 3:34 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Re: Red Light Photo Enforcement Tickets-Oregon

    If I understand:

    You broke the traffic law.

    Your defenses are: it was never enforced before and you think trakkif cameras are unfair.

    Those are not defenses. If your broke the law, pay the fine. if you think the law is unfair, work with the legislature to change it. But laws are no altered retroactively - you will still owe your fine.

     

  • Mon, Feb 14 2011 3:35 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Now you are being ridiculous

    Obama NEVER said that. Show me WHERE he made that public statement.

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