Red Light Camera Ticket Case Upheld

California has long allowed red light cameras to be used in order to stem the tide of accidents at intersctions.  Long Beach is not a big user of these devices but other cities do use the cameras to ticket drivers who run red lights.  The law is in favor of the city when you try and fight the ticket, this case outlines one recent decision that upholds the tickets in Court.

Here, the defendant, Goldsmith was cited for failing to stop at a red light at an intersection in violation of Vehicle Code section 21453. She was found guilty of the infraction based on evidence of several photographs and a 12-second video generated by an automatic traffic enforcement system. The conviction was affirmed by the appellate division of the superior court and the Court of Appeal. The California Supreme Court granted review to consider Goldsmith’s claim that the trial court improperly admitted the  evidence over her hearsay and inadequate foundation objections.

The appeals court upheld the conviction for running a red light.  The Court found  The police investigator’s testimony adequately established that the photographs were from the relevant intersection. The photographs depicted Goldsmith at the intersection, which supported a finding that the photos were authentic. There was no evidence that the red light camera evidence was materially altered or edited. The court declined to require a greater showing of authentication for the admissibility of digital images merely because in theory they could be manipulated. It also rejected Goldsmith’s argument that the camera evidence constituted inadmissable hearsay.

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