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If you haven't
already done so, please read the San Diego section
on the Camera
City of San Diego
The last day of operation was Jan.
31, 2013 - see Docs Set # 6, below
11-3-04, updated 2-5-13
Recorded and Citations Issued
This table made by highwayrobbery.net, using official monthly tabulations of citations actually issued.
Reports prepared by the City, covering 1998 - 2001
Reports prepared by the City, covering 2003 - 2004, and signal timing chart
Reports prepared by the City, covering 2008 - 2010 at 6-month intervals
Reports prepared by the City, covering camera startup in 2008 - 2009 and 2011 - 2012 at 6-month intervals
[ ] indicates a footnote.
 Grand totals in cells bearing this footnote are by highwayrobbery.net. All others are as provided by the City.
 YTD = Year-to-date total.
 Any un-used columns are to allow for later expansion of City's system.
 Any figures in red type are "raw" violations recorded by the cameras. The figures in black type are citations issued. Figures may have been posted only for selected months, due to time limitations. If there is sufficient public interest, the remaining months will be posted. Most of those figures are available in the documents linked above.
 Intersection-by-intersection data for this calendar month was requested on:
 The enforcement is believed to be on traffic entering the intersection on the first-named street in the direction noted, and is based upon City documents. If a correction is needed, please bring it to my attention.
 Totals for Sept. 1998 to Nov. 2004.
 On 12-24-04 I received a signal timing chart showing a 3.6 yellow for the left from Harbor onto Grape. The chart included the notation "Last database change 10/22/04."
 The extra title bars are solely for the convenience of the reader - there is no difference between them and the one at the top of the table. Also, the extra-wide vertical grid lines have no significance; they are for the convenience of the reader.
 Excluding Dec. 2004, as figures were not available.
 Where data for a camera is shown for six months in a row during 2008 - 2009, it represents the first six months of camera operation under the new ATS system.
 Due to paving/striping, the Garnet/Mission camera was off for a portion of June 2012 and the Harbor/Grape camera was off for a portion of Dec. 2012.
San Diego Docs Set # 2
A lot has been written about San Diego's cameras. Here are links to some of it.
The Original Sin - Revealed by Their Own Documents
Before San Diego started up its first camera system, they had to select the intersections where the cameras would be placed. This internal memo shows that their focus was on money, not safety.
2001 Think Tank Study of San Diego's First Camera System
In 2001, the San Diego Police Department contracted with PB Farradyne to conduct a review of the City's red light photo enforcement program.
The report (2559 K pdf) included this graph showing the effect of lengthening the yellows at a number of the City's camera-monitored intersections. (Figure 6-1, p. 79 of the document, or p. 96 of the pdf.)
The Farradyne study also included this table comparing the effectiveness of cameras (enforcement) vs. engineering countermeasures (lengthening yellows, better intersection markings, etc.). (Table 6-3, p. 80 of the document, or p. 97 of the pdf.)
A Compilation on a
Private Website, from 2002
See the entries for Jan. 14, 2002, which discuss the effect of the lengthening of the yellow lights, as documented in Chap. 6 of the Farradyne report.
Congressman Dick Armey's website contained a number of items about San Diego. There is a replica of his website here on highwayrobbery.net, at: The Red Light Running Crisis - Is It Intentional?
The Grace Time: Lengthened, then Eliminated
In June 2001, due to the fallout from the People v. John Allen case (see Set # 3, below), the City shut the program down.
In Sept. 2002 the city manager submitted a report to the city council, about re-starting the system. In his report, he recommended that there be a 0.5 second grace period, and that the minimum yellow light length throughout the City be increased to 3.4 seconds from the then-current 3.0 seconds.
When the City re-opened the program in 2003, it began allowing a 0.5 second (half second) grace period on all tickets.
Then, on July 18, 2006 the city council authorized the elimination of the grace period, allowing tickets to be issued for as little as 0.1 second (one tenth) late. The staff report said:
"Of the 36,400 violations that could have been issued, 65% or 23,660 were not issued due to the 'grace period.'"
Without a grace period, they would be able to issue nearly three times as many tickets! The motion to eliminate the grace period passed 6 - 2 (nays: Maienschein, Madaffer).
Two Nov. 2007 reports to the council discussed the hiring of ATS to run the system (in place of original vendor ACS), and the effect of the elimination of the grace period.
The City's Website
The City maintains a webpage with a lot of red light camera info on it. The City's FAQ about the length of the yellow lights says that in San Diego the minimum length for a yellow light is 3.4 seconds on a turn and 3.9 seconds for straight through.
San Diego Docs Set # 3
The Dismissals in 2001 - People v. John Allen
P. v. John Allen included numerous briefs by both sides, and numerous rulings by the judge. Here are some of them.
San Diego Docs Set # 4
Dirty Deeds, Part I
In August 2005, I got this email. I have had a couple previous emails about this happening with old San Diego tickets. Does the San Diego City government have no shame?
If this has happened to you too, let me know.
Another Dirty Deed is in More Reading, above. See the item entitled The Original Sin.
San Diego Docs Set # 5
Dirty Deeds, Part Duh
In October 2006 I was trying to contact the court San Diego Superior Court Records Department, to get a copy of a brief I wanted to put up on the People vs. John Allen page (see Docs Set # 3, above). My old number for Records was no good anymore - it just led me in circles, listening to endless menus where I could listen to endless recorded info. So, I started calling other numbers. One that I called was the main number for the central traffic court, (858) 565-1006. I heard this recorded message*:
"For red light photo enforced citations issued by the City of San Diego Police Department, if you did not own the vehicle or were not the driver, please call the Traffic Violations Bureau at (800) 369-5352 for information on how to proceed."
That was all that the recording had to say about dealing with "not-the-driver"San Diego red light camera tickets, and it seemed misleading. Next, I called the "Traffic Violations Bureau," ("TVB"). My call was answered immediately, by "Yolanda."
Me: How do I proceed if I was not the driver?
Yolanda: You have to identify the driver.
Me: Do I have a choice?
Yolanda: You could go to court and contest the ticket.
After I asked Yolanda the right question ("Do I have a choice?"), she didn't mislead me; she provided accurate info, that I could go to court. So, you may be wondering why I'm writing this up.
The court is supposed to be neutral territory between litigants - the City and the motorists it is prosecuting. As such the court should not be telling motorists who have phoned it that they should call the City or their contractor, the TVB. At the very least, if the court is going to provide the number for the TVB, the court's recorded message should not give the impression that calling the TVB is the sole option. First (or "top") billing should be given to pointing out that someone who was not the driver can stay on the line, and make a court appointment. Further, the recording should make it clear that the very official sounding "Traffic Violations Bureau" is actually a private for-profit company - if the TVB is to be mentioned at all.
Immediately after the recorded passage about San Diego tickets (above), there was this:
"If you were issued a red light photo enforcement citation by the Poway sheriff please call (858) 513-2800 or 513-2888 to schedule an appointment."
That was all the recording had to say about dealing with Poway camera tickets.
I didn't call the Poway sheriff, but am pretty sure that he would have told me to ID the driver.
My objection to the Poway portion of the court's recording is basically the same as above: Why is the court directing a litigant to contact his opponent, and not speaking of the option to stay on the line and make a court appointment?
*Please note that what I heard was the daytime recorded message. The after-hours message is different.
San Diego Docs Set # 6
The Contract - Program Ended Jan. 31, 2013
The contract is available on the City's website.
This council report file from the 12-4-07 meeting, has the proposal, and at pg. 200 of the pdf, a memo of agreement (MOA) that adopts the proposal, etc., as the contract.
On pg. 169 of the pdf (numbered page 77 of the proposal), it shows that sign maintenance is to be done by ATS, a violation of 21455.5.
The minutes for that meeting show, at pg. 109 of the pdf, that they adopted the MOA.
I got to both documents from this page:
The contract expired on Jan. 31, 2013. In a Nov. 1, 2012 Union Tribune article, Matt Clark reported that then-current Mayor Jerry Sanders would not bring a renewal of the contract to the council before leaving office.
On Feb. 1, 2013 new Mayor Bob Filner announced the end of the program.
U-T article (archived copy)
Feb. 1, 2013, 10:55 am: The first sign to come down
This list of contract documents may not be up-to-date - there could be a contract or amendment later than the ones listed above.
City of San Diego Docs Set #
San Diego Docs Set # 8
I strongly recommend doing a Peremptory Challenge to remove Commissioner Corinne Chase Miesfeld from your case.
San Diego Docs Set # 9
Fine Revenue from the Court to Cities in the County
Revenue to Del Mar, Encinitas & Solana Beach, 2014 - 2018
San Diego Docs Set # 10
There may be some more information posted in the next few weeks. Mark your calendar to remind you to come back here and look!
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