BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                          SB 29 (Simitian)
          
          Hearing Date: 05/09/2011        Amended: 04/05/2011
          Consultant: Mark McKenzie       Policy Vote: T&H 9-0
          _________________________________________________________________
          ____
          BILL SUMMARY:  SB 29 would revise the requirements that local 
          jurisdictions and enforcement agencies must follow when 
          installing and operating "automated traffic enforcement systems" 
          (red light cameras).  Specifically, this bill would:
           Require signs to be posted within 200 feet of an intersection 
            where red light cameras are in use by January 1, 2013, as 
            specified, instead of allowing signs either at intersections 
            or at the entrances to the city.
           Require a local agency to adopt a finding that the placement 
            of a red light camera is needed for reasons related to safety, 
            for cameras placed after January 1, 2012.
           Require local agencies to develop uniform guidelines for 
            screening and issuing violations, for handling confidential 
            information, and for selecting locations for red light camera 
            use by January 1, 2013, for both existing and new cameras.
           Prohibits the operator of a red light camera from considering 
            revenue generation, beyond actual cost recovery, when 
            considering whether to install a camera.
           Require Judicial Council to approve all forms for courtesy 
            notices and notices to appear.
           Allow issuing agencies to issue courtesy notices to registered 
            owners of vehicles prior to issuing a citation in an effort to 
            determine the identity of the driver and requires that notice 
            to contain specified information..
           Require the submittal of an annual report to the Judicial 
            Council that includes specified violation data, including the 
            number of alleged violations, number of citations issued, 
            number of citations dismissed, and the impact that a camera 
            has had on collisions.
           Make other changes to ensure the processes for issuing and 
            contesting citations are consistent and transparent.
          _________________________________________________________________
          ____
                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2011-12      2012-13       2013-14     Fund
           Penalty revenue loss   unknown potential penalty revenue 








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          lossVarious*
                                    ------------(see staff 
          comments)------------  
          Judicial Council       minor and absorbable costs to 
          approveSpecial**
                                   forms and receive annual reports
          Local mandate          no state costs (local crime 
          disclaimer)Local
          ____________
          * General/Special (See staff comments for itemized schedule of 
          penalty assessments)
          ** Trial Court Trust Fund
          _________________________________________________________________
          ____

          STAFF COMMENTS: This bill may meet the criteria for referral to 
          the Suspense File.  This bill includes a provision that requires 
          a "courtesy notice" issued to the registered owner of a vehicle 
          involved in a red light camera violation to clearly and 
          prominently notify the owner that he or she is not required to 
          provide information on the identity of the driver of the 
          vehicle, and that failure to provide that information will not 
          result in additional responsibility or liability associated with 
          the alleged violation.  To the extent that this provision 
          directly results in a decrease in the identification of drivers 
          involved in violations, and the issuance of fewer citations with 
          sufficient evidence to justify a conviction, this bill could 
          result in a decrease in penalty revenues.  If approximately 
          1,800 fewer convictions are achieved in a year as a result of 
          these notice requirements, this bill would meet the criteria for 
          referral to the Suspense File.

          Existing law authorizes the use of automated traffic enforcement 
          systems at railroad crossings and intersections to record 
          violations of unlawful grade crossings and red light running.  
          Only a governmental agency, in cooperation with law enforcement, 
          may operate an automated enforcement system.  Existing law 
          authorizes a governmental agency to contract out its duties to 
          certify that the equipment is installed and operating properly, 
          and regularly inspected, provided the agency maintains overall 
          supervision and control of the system.  This bill is intended to 
          improve accountability of local governments that use red light 
          camera systems, to ensure citations are properly issued, and to 
          improve the means for a person to challenge citations issued in 








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          error. 

          Staff notes that the base fine for running a red light is $100, 
          with total bail running as high as $528, including penalty 
          assessments.  The following illustrates the amount, statutory 
          reference, and recipient of each assessment for a $100 base 
          fine:
           $100 penalty ($10 for each $10 of base fine); Penal Code (PC) 
            1464; 70% to state for deposit in State Penalty Fund, 30% to 
            county General Fund.
           $70 penalty ($7 for each $10 of base fine); Government Code 
            (GC) 76000; full amount to county, as specified.
           $20 penalty ($2 for each $10 of base fine); GC 76000.5; to 
            county for specified emergency medical services.
           $40 penalty ($4 for each $10 of base fine); GC 76104.6 and 
            76104.7; 75% to state for deposit in State DNA Identification 
            Fund, 25% to county for implementation of Proposition 69 
            (2004).
           $50 penalty ($5 for each $10 of base fine); GC 70372 (a); full 
            amount to state for deposit into Court Facilities Construction 
            Fund, as specified.
           $20 surcharge (20% of base fine); PC 1465.7; full amount to 
            state for deposit in General Fund.
           $4 flat fine; GC 76000.10; full amount to state for deposit in 
            the emergency Medical Air Transportation Act Fund.
           $40 court security fee; PC 1465.8 (a); full amount to state 
            for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund for court security 
            purposes (amount reduced to $30 on July 1, 2011, and to $20 on 
            July 1, 2013).
           $35 conviction assessment fee; GC 70373; full amount to state 
            for deposit in the State Court Facilities Construction Fund.
           For those ordered or permitted to attend a traffic violator 
            school, there is an additional $49 fee; VC 42007.1; 51% to 
            state for deposit in State Court Facilities Construction Fund 
            and 49% to county General Fund.  Courts may adjust this amount 
            to cover costs to administer TVS program.

          The following breakdown summarizes the total state fiscal impact 
          for each violation with a $100 base fine ($249 total):

          $20 to General Fund
          $70 to State Penalty Fund
          $85 to State Court Facilities Construction Fund
          $40 to Trial Court Trust Fund








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          $30 to State DNA Identification Fund
          $4 to Medical Air Transportation Act Fund.

          The total number of red light camera violations that ultimately 
          end up as a conviction resulting in payment of bail is unknown.  
          According to information provided by Redflex Traffic Systems, 
          the largest supplier of red light camera systems to cities and 
          counties in California, approximately 67,645 citations are 
          issued annually as a result of the "courtesy notice" process in 
          which the registered owner of a vehicle provides information 
          about the driver involved in an alleged violation.  The number 
          of these that ultimately ends in a conviction and payment of 
          fines and assessments is unknown.  As noted above, if the bill's 
          requirements directly result in a decrease in the identification 
          of drivers involved in violations, and the issuance of fewer 
          citations with sufficient evidence to justify a conviction, this 
          bill could result in a decrease in penalty revenues.  For 
          example, if 1,800 fewer convictions are achieved in a year as a 
          result of the enhanced notice requirements (less than 3% of the 
          number of citations issued through the courtesy notice process 
          by Redflex), this bill would result in a loss of $153,000 in 
          penalties that would otherwise be deposited into the Court 
          Facilities Construction Fund.

          A violation of the Vehicle Code is a crime.  By changing the 
          requirements related to red light cameras, this bill creates a 
          non-reimbursable state-mandated local program (local crime 
          disclaimer).  

          Judicial Council indicates that administrative costs to develop 
          and adopt forms required by this bill would be minor and 
          absorbable.  Furthermore, any costs to receive reports on red 
          light camera use by local agencies would be absorbable.

          Staff notes that this bill is similar to SB 1362 (Simitian), 
          which was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last 
          year.