Green Light for Red Light Cameras in California

A decisive California Supreme Court ruling on June 5 made life easier for jurisdictions to enforce red-light laws using traffic camera technology by stating that the photos have the "same presumption of validity as other types of photos and videos."

"In a ruling issued in San Francisco, the court unanimously said that images and data automatically recorded by the cameras have a 'presumption of authenticity' similar to the presumption for other types of photos and videos," reports KTVU's Christina Rendon in the TV station's news video and news article text.

The red light cameras are "authorized by the California Vehicle Code (and) drivers are identified through photos of their license plates." 

The ruling stems from the appeal of "Carmen Goldsmith, who was convicted in Los Angeles County Superior Court of a traffic infraction and fined $436 for failing to stop at a red light at an intersection in Inglewood in 2009."

In her appeal, Goldsmith argued that prosecutors should have been required to provide more evidence to authenticate the cameras. She also claimed the recordings should have been considered second-hand hearsay evidence.

But the state high court upheld a California law that provides that red-light camera evidence has the same presumption of validity as other types of photos and videos.

"'No elaborate showing of accuracy is required'" for the automatically produced images and data," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said.

Full Story: San Francisco high court rules red-light camera evidence is presumed authentic


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