Crazy Proposed Calif. Law Will Make Stop Sign Tickets Misdemeanors
By Martin Hill
September 10, 2014


A little-known state agency which manages parks in California has not only installed stop sign cameras, which are not even allowed under CA law, but they seek to increase the penalty for running a stop sign from an infraction to a misdemeanor criminal offense. AB 1767, authored by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), currently sits on Governor Jerry Brown's desk awaiting signature. The state also seeks to raise the stop sign fines from $100 to $500, in parks run by the 'MRCA' (Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority). reports:

AB 1767 - Higher Fines at MRCA Stop Sign Cameras (Strongly Oppose)

AB 1767 (Holden) will allow the MRCA parks district to increase the fines from their LA area stop sign cameras - presently $100 - to as much as $500. And then if that wasn't bad enough, a last minute (July 2) amendment will change the MRCA's stop sign tickets from an infraction to a misdemeanor. (You can get jail time for a misdemeanor, and having one on your record can affect your ability to get a job, or keep the one you have.)

AB 1767 was launched in Feb. 2014 and as of Sept. 5 was on Gov. Brown's desk. Please ask him to veto this bill.
Go here for more info about the MRCA.

MRCA - Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Southern California

The MRCA is a little-known State-created agency which manages a number of large and small parks in the Greater Los Angeles area. Among those are Franklin Canyon near Beverly Hills, Temescal Gateway in the Pacific Palisades, Topanga State Park, Reseda, and the Hollywood Bowl Overlook.

Evidently tired of toiling in obscurity, in March 2007 the MRCA contracted for the installation of two kinds of automated enforcement not permitted by California law (and found nowhere else in California): (1) Photo enforcement at stop signs and (2) photo enforcement of speed.

The MRCA began issuing stop sign tickets in Summer 2007. The speed enforcement portion of the contract was canceled before any speed enforcement began. The MRCA stop sign cameras use "non-visible" infrared light for illumination - so humans may not see a flash! If you ignore a MRCA ticket, you will get a collection letter from a law firm in Ohio.

Ticket counts, and other materials about the MRCA's cameras, are available on, at: MRCA Documents.

If you would like to help to bring a halt to the MRCA program, call your State legislators (in your local phone book), your AAA auto club at (714) 885-1222, and the governor, at (916) 445-2841. While you are on the phone with them, please also give them your opinion about the current legislation in Sacramento - see the Legislation section on the Action/Legis page. You could also write to the LA County District Attorney, Steve Cooley. His fax number is (213) 687-8525.

If you have a ticket and want to contact the MRCA, their number is (310) 858-3834.
The direct number to the photo stopsign program at the MRCA is (310) 858-0117.

The amended version of AB 1751 includes misdemeanor penalties in Section 33211.6 for (a) Dumping any refuse matter, and (b) Injuring, defacing, or destroying any property owned or managed by the conservancy.

But the clincher is in part C!

(c) Violation of the posted conditions of use on any property owned or managed by the conservancy is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 90 days, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

"Posted conditions" include a sign telling you to stop. And if you don't, the camera is ready to make a criminal out of you.

The MRCA website has a FAQ page with questions about the automated stop sign tickets. Note that they state the accused may "contest the imposition of a penalty in an administrative hearing" and that "A Violation of the MRCA Ordinance will not be made part of the operating record of the driver or owner of the vehicle. As such, no DMV points will be assessed."

Question: Why is it merely an 'adminstrative hearing' and not a court trial, and if the citations were legitimate, why are no DMV points assessed? EXCERPTS:

Why did I receive this citation?
Public safety in our parks has always been the number one concern of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). Hikers, joggers, school classes, and strollers frequent the park access roads within our parks. As more and more cars share these access ways with people, the potential for serious injury increases. The need for drivers to slow down and obey stop sign laws in our parks has never been greater.
While MRCA Park Rangers are California Peace Officers, they also perform maintenance, interpretation, and fire rescue duties at parks throughout the Southern California region. Automated stop sign enforcement uses camera systems and sensors to detect stop sign violations. A stop sign violation consists of a vehicle not coming to a complete stop behind the limit line. The violation is detected and the camera system records a video image of the entire incident including the vehicle and its surroundings. Automated enforcement of stop signs in heavily used parks makes sense as an additional tool to keep all park users safe, while making drivers more aware of the potential hazards around them.
The MRCA wants drivers to slow down on its park access roadways and follow rules in the parks. Thousands of recreational users enjoy the trails and natural beauty of MRCA parklands every day. We want to ensure that they can do so safely.

Is this a courtesy notice?
No. This is not a courtesy notice. A California Peace Officer has issued this citation after reviewing the evidence of a driving violation.

How can I contest this citation?
You have the right to contest the imposition of a penalty in an administrative hearing. To schedule a hearing and have the matter reviewed by a Hearing Officer, please follow the instructions included with your citation.

What if I do not pay my citation?
Failure to pay the assessed administrative penalties and/or administrative costs specified in the administrative order may be enforced as a personal obligation of the violator, which shall remain in effect until all of the administrative penalties, interest and administrative costs are paid in full. Late payment charges of ten percent (10%) per month, simple interest on the delinquent amount, shall accrue and are payable. If the delinquent amount has not been paid within sixty days of the date set for payment then a twenty five percent (25%) nonpayment penalty shall be added to the principal amount due, and thereafter interest shall accrue on the delinquent amount plus the nonpayment penalty.

Will points be assessed on my California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Record because of this citation?
A Violation of the MRCA Ordinance will not be made part of the operating record of the driver or owner of the vehicle. As such, no DMV points will be assessed.

For all other questions, call the citation information line toll free at: (877) 847-2338 Monday-Friday between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm.

The legislative analysis of the bill notes that it "Creates a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 90 days, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment for violation of the posted conditions of use on any property owned or managed by the Conservancy. Authorizes the judge, in considering the recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, to reduce the charged offense from a misdemeanor to an infraction. Requires any person convicted of the offense after such a reduction to be punished by a fine of not less $100, nor more than $500."

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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,,, WorldNetDaily,,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,, Pasadena Weekly,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.


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