Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Don't pay" says San Francisco Mayor over red light cameras

For information about obtaining a refund,
call the red light ticket hotline at (650) 829-3777.


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KGO) -- The mayor of South San Francisco's message to those captured on red light cameras at two heavily traveled intersections in the city before Jan. 27 is this: Don't pay your ticket!

"We don't want any more money to refund, so please don't pay your ticket." That is South San Francisco Mayor Mark Addiego's answer to drivers who were nabbed by red light cameras in the city between Aug. 15 and Jan. 27. If you have already paid your ticket, the mayor says you will be reimbursed.

It all stems from one big snafu in which the City Council failed to seal the deal with the manufacturer of the cameras.

Related STORY: Technicality leads to refunds for red light runners

"The ratification of the contract somehow fell off the radar," Addiego said.

City officials believe some 3,000 drivers were ticketed, amounting to more than a million dollars in citations. They occurred at El Camino and Westborough, and El Camino and Hickey. Fixing the mistake will be costly for this small city, especially during lean times.

"It could range up to $50,000 to undo it, just administratively with manpower," Addiego said.

Not to mention all the money the city would have received from those huge fines.

Annalyn Chacon was caught on camera twice just one month after she moved to the area. Both times Chacon was making what is called a "California stop," a rolling stop as you make a right against a red light. The tickets have cost her almost $900.

Almost all of the many e-mails we received since we broke the story last week were from motorists who made those California stops.

Paul Ault was cited in September making the same kind of stop as Chacon did.

"I know it's a big revenue line for the city, but it doesn't seem responsible," Ault said.

Believe it or not, the mayor seems to agree.

"I don't think they rise to the same level as someone who blows a red light, so I think we need to look at the red light cameras for right turns versus through the intersection," Addiego said.

The mayor says a letter will be sent in two weeks to all those cited explaining how they can obtain a refund.

For information about obtaining a refund, call the red light ticket hotline at (650) 829-3777.


Henry said...

SSF isn’t the only city with a big problem with its cameras. An appeal court found Daly City and San Mateo’s contracts with the camera supplier to be illegal, violating the CVC 21455.5(g) ban of pay to the supplier based upon a % of fine revenue. Menlo Park, Millbrae, Newark, Redwood City, San Leandro, and Union City have the same problem.

More dirt: Many police depts. issue Snitch Tickets, fake red light cam tickets designed to fool the registered owner into ID’ing the actual driver of the car. (He doesn't have to!) Daly City, Elk Grove, Emeryville, Fairfield, Marysville, Millbrae, Modesto, Newark, Redding, Rocklin, San Leandro, San Mateo, Stockton and Union City do it. Snitch tickets haven’t been filed at court, don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's address and phone # on them, and even say (on the back), "Do not contact the court about this notice." Since they have not been filed at court, they have zero legal weight. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. If in doubt, Google the term.

Big Brother Pranks said...

Great blog! Will check here often for inspiration. We've just started a forum in Europe for stimulating pranks to defeat the system. Convincing ordinary citizens is hopeless, most have the "I've got nothing to hide" syndrome. We have a special approach to defeating them. Check us out at It is still early days. As of now we try to get a prank under way in Rotterdam. Our biggest threat now is a national road tax system based on GPS and a secundary license plate recognition system. As a side effect every car in the Netherlands will be traced EVERYWHERE 7/24. Amazingly most people talk about the tax being payed on day one. Completely forgetting that the real decision is the introductionof a big brother system and that the pricetag on day one is rigged in order to sell it to the ordinary citizen. On day two they will turn the knob to whatever value they want and spy on us 7/24. Next will be automatic speeding tickets, parking tickets etc etc ending in a dehumanized society nobody wants. Anyway keep up the good work and check us out at