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Fines for right-on-red-light tickets could fall if state bill passes

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Red light camera reform legislation passed California's Senate
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Red light camera reform legislation passed California's Senate

A bill in the California Senate aims to reduce the fines for drivers who are cited for red light violations when making a right turn.

A bill in the California Senate aims to reduce the fines for drivers who are cited for red light violations when making a right turn.

State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) introduced the bill, SB 986, earlier this year after a constituent suggested it. Current fines can climb as high as $500—the same fine for running straight through a red light in the middle of an intersection—from a base $100, and Hill's bill would reduce the base fine to $35. He says that will bring it in line with other similar road offenses.

Road safety advocates say dropping the fines would make crosswalks less safe for pedestrians and cyclists, and they also say a small change the bill proposes to the language of the California Vehicle Code could legalize the rolling "California stop."

The bill passed the state senate with bi-partisan support and is now in the appropriations. The deadline for a vote on the bill is Aug. 31.

Libby Denkmann spoke with Sen. Hill about his bill, and we checked in with a sergeant with the LAPD Central Traffic Division about the "California stop" question. To hear the interview, click the blue audio player above.

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