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"Earlier this evening the San Bernardino city attorney emailed me in response to my third reminder about a public records act request I had made. She told me that the city would not be able to provide the red light camera program records I had requested because the program had been "terminated" leaving the city without access to the data maintained by ATS. Her exact words:
"The City of San Bernardino's red light camera program has been terminated, and therefore we no longer have access to the same information that ATS used to provide to us. Therefore, the City does not have any additional documents/information to provide in response to your request."
Her email was the first I heard of the termination. No doubt it occurred to city officials to keep it quiet, so that people would continue to come to the court and pay their tickets - I estimate 40 - 50 paid daily. (Sometime before May 2012 the city turned on a bunch of new cameras and cranked up ticket issuance to about 1500 monthly.)
As far as I know there's been nothing in the Sun or other media. I suspect that the folks at the Sun knew about it but kept it quiet, out of misguided loyalty to the city.
I am writing to you because we need to take immediate action to get the word out. If I could, I would be outside the courthouse doors tomorrow morning, telling people to fight their tickets, not pay. The reason that I think that people should fight is that if the city has lost access to the ATS data I was asking for, they may also have lost access to the evidence packets they need in order to be able to prosecute contested tickets."
Motorists in California have due process rights including the right to subpoena evidence and question witnesses in traffic ticket trials. The cases will likely be dismissed if the defendant pleads NOT GUILTY and the prosecutor can not comply with the discovery request and no longer has access to all the data. The City of San Bernardino has recently issued an average of approximately 1500 red light camera tickets per month (65 per weekday). The tickets cost approximately $500 each, along with $100 more if the person opts for traffic school. If even 40 people plead guilty and pay the ticket each weekday, that is an astounding $20,000 revenue daily to the city from witless submissive citizens.
San Bernardino has conveniently made no mention of the program cancellation on their website. The neighboring City of Corona, which cancelled their program on November 5th, also made no announcement on their website and is still collecting fees from motorists.
People should plead not guilty and make the city work for that money. HelpIGotaTicket.com has a list of questions defendants can ask the prosecution witness (the officer) in court as well as a list of items to subpoena in the discovery request prior to trial. As always, LibertyFight suggests that people plead not guilty and get as many extensions as possible prior to the arraignment date to drag the matter out and bog the system down, as is our right. I have beaten over 10 tickets in court using the free info I learned at HelpIGotaTicket.com. California residents can even fight their ticket through the mail with a TRIAL BY DECLARATION. If they lose that they're entitled to a TRIAL DE NOVO (Not an appeal, but rather a brand new trial in person). This stuff is very easy and I have an entire TRAFFIC TICKET ARCHIVE section on my website dedicated to these issues, as well as a RED LIGHT CAMERA SECTION which is among the most frequently visited pages on my site. HighwayRobbery.net is an outstanding free resource for everything one needs to know about red light cameras. John Shanahan, co-founder of LibertyFight, recieved a red-light camera ticket from Corona earlier this year before their program was scrapped and is currently fighting the ticket in court. John has beaten three tickets through the mail and his stories, along with documentation, are outlined in the links here. TheNewspaper.com has published a detailed article on the San Bernardino development, but none of the mainstream media outlets have reported on it to let the people in San Bernardino know that the program has been terminated.
On their city website, San Bernardino links to a ridiculous list of 'RED LIGHT CAMERA COURT PROCEDURES' which makes no mention whatsoever of how motorists can plead not guilty to the ticket!:
"Once you see the Judge, you may ask if he can reduce the fines, whether you choose to plead no contest, guilty, or traffic school.They also coerce ticketed motorists to rat out their friends in they are pictured on the ticket, implying that the person needs to snitch on the driver if they "have the correct driver information":
c. Night Court- 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month: You may also appear at night court after viewing your video to enter a plea of no contest, guilty, or traffic school only. If you wish to contest your citation, you may not appear at night court � This is for the above pleas only."
"Please contact the San Bernardino Police Department Red Light Camera Enforcement division for the following: 1. If you have a red light camera citation and you are not the driver. Please follow the instructions below: If you have the correct driver information, please call 909-388-4920 and we will accept the driver information over the phone in order to re-issue the citation to the correct driver. We will then submit a petition to the courts to dismiss your original citation."The city of Corona similarly gave a false legal directive to motorists for over four years on their website, telling motorists "If you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the violation, you must provide the name and address of the person driving." After WhatReallyHappened.com featured the story, the police inexplicably removed the line from their website immediately.
San Bernardino has made national news quite a bit in recent years. In 2008, InfoWars.com reported Marine "Military Presence" Confirmed in San Bernardino County: "As we reported yesterday, the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center has dispatched uniformed and presumably armed (we have no confirmation of the latter) soldiers to assist the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in the operation of unconstitutional sobriety checkpoints in San Bernardino County, California, the largest county in California and the country (San Bernardino County is directly east of Los Angeles)."
San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman recently caused quite a stir when he told 150 people at a city council meeting to "lock their doors and load their guns", due to the fact that the city is in bankruptcy, has a high murder rate, and recently had to lay off 80 police officers. CBS2 reported "The city attorney said it�s important for people to be smart about protecting themselves and their families." That is good advice, but being smart not only means protecting your home and family but also protecting your pocketbook from revenue schemes such as the red-light camera fraud that's been fleecing people for millions in San Bernardino for years.
Kudos to HighwayRobbery.net for garnering this information about the cancellation of San Bernardino red-light scameras and getting it out to the public. The editor is an exemplary example of an advocate of liberty. In 2010, Loma Linda, CA Mayor Rhodes Rigsby told a local newspaper that "he
trusted the website (HighwayRobbery.net) and has has taken its advice in the past." Napa, CA Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said the information at HighwayRobbery.net looked "spot on." [Napa Valley Register, Nov. 13, 2011.] The editor of the site was once arrested for successfully informing motorists of their rights, after a Los Angeles County court enforced overly-restrictive rules regarding how a person is allowed to distribute literature outside a courthouse.
Information for specific cities can be found on the camera towns page; there is also a San Bernardino documents page.
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, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
Ca motorist beats fourth traffic ticket through the mail 2/15/13 [Corona, Ca red-light camera slapped down! Court documents included on page.]
City of Corona, CA claims that traffic defendants must be compelled to testify 8/21/12