SACRAMENTO — The state Senate gave its blessing Tuesday to a bill that would establish statewide standards for the installation and operation of traffic enforcement cameras.

Authored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, Senate Bill 1362 would require that cameras be placed only where a history of collisions justifies them, that signs be posted wherever red light cameras are installed and that unjustified tickets be easily challenged by drivers.

The bill comes amid growing complaints from motorists that the cameras are becoming less about reducing traffic collisions and increasingly being used as a source of revenue by cash-strapped cities.

Several cities on the Peninsula have recently abandoned or considered discontinuing their traffic camera programs because the cameras cost more to operate than they were making in fines.

The idea for the bill was proposed in Simitian's annual "There Oughta Be a Law" contest. San Jose resident Vera Gil suggested the legislation after receiving three tickets from red light cameras for a car in Southern California she has never driven. The license plate number is similar to hers.

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

Since 2001, 15 ideas submitted to Simitian's contest have been signed into law.



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