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The Process Behind a Red Light Ticket in South San Francisco

The SSF Police Department's red-light cameras are operated by American Traffic Solutions.

A lot happens between the time when a red-light camera flashes and when a citation appears in that driver's mailbox.

American Traffic Solutions, which contracts with agencies like the South San Francisco Police Department to provide red-light and toll-enforcement cameras, released a video Friday that gave a behind-the-scenes look at the review process each citation faces before being sent out.

When a photo is taken of an alleged red light violator, it's reviewed and verified by American Traffic Solutions before being sent to the local agency, who has final say on whether or not to issue a citation.

“Hopefully this video will help further explain the review process and clear up any misconceptions about how a captured event becomes an issued violation,” a press release quoted American Traffic Solutions vice president of communications Charles Territo as saying. “As this video shows, the people at ATS and its nearly 300 customers across North American carefully review each event.  Red-light, speed, and school bus stop arm safety cameras have proven to be an effective tool for law enforcement to deploy to help change driver behavior.”

What do you think of this process, and of red-light cameras in South San Francisco? Tell us in the comments section below.

Jim February 27, 2013 at 07:55 AM
California police mail out fake/phishing red light camera "tickets" to fool the registered owner into identifying the actual driver of the car. (They use the fakes because red light camera tickets are a criminal matter in California and by law the police cannot file a real ticket with the court if it is obvious that they are charging the wrong person - such as with a gender mismatch.) One city (Hayward) admitted to sending out about 10,000 of the fake tickets annually. The fakes have not been filed with the court, so they don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's addr. and phone #, and may even say, "This is not a ticket." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight whatsoever. You can ignore a fake ticket. If in doubt, Google the street term, Snitch Ticket. And once you understand how tricky a Snitch Ticket is, tell your friends who live in or visit California about them, so that they won't get tricked. Also let your friends know that REAL tickets issued by cities in LA County can be ignored, because the LA County court does not report ignored tickets to the DMV. This info applies ONLY to tickets from cities that are in LA County. Skeptical? Google red light camera voluntary. If you take the time to educate your friends about these things, you may find that suddenly you are eating better. A lot of people will be buying you lunch after they realize that you have just saved them from paying a $500 ticket.
Tess February 27, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Good video and really good information from Jim. So SSF must be issuing a ton of citations from the El Camino/Wesborough cameras if the careful review of video is being done. It never fails, if you are traveling on El Camino going south and turning left onto Chestnut, the light turns green but you ALWAYS have to wait for two or three cars to whisk by before you can go. I'm not talking backed up traffic - I'm talking regular speed (or faster) cars who must have entered the intersection AFTER the light turned red, otherwise they would not be right in front of the southbound EC left lanes two/three seconds after the light is green! Is sure do hope those drivers are getting caught.

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