Articles Tagged with traffic tickets

San Diego has a new regulation that went into effect on July 1. The San Diego City Council put new regulations in place for scooters and bikes – sometimes referred to as dockless devices – to increase the safety of the public. Now, dockless bike and scooter riders must keep an eye on their speed in certain areas and stay informed of the parking locations where dockless bikes and scooters are accepted or face traffic tickets from law enforcement. 

The Dockless Scooter and Bike Regulations do the following:

  • Limit riders’ speed to 8 miles per hour on beach boardwalks
  • Limit riders’ seed to 3 miles per hour in high-traffic areas
  • Ban scooters from parking at hospitals, schools and certain parks
  • Prohibit scooters from riding on sidewalks in the City

Additionally, the regulations:

  • Require scooter companies to pay a permit fee of more than $5,000 every six months, including a $150 per device fee
  • Create designated scooter parking corrals (stenciled zones where riders can park bikes and scooters) so they do not block pathways on sidewalks
  • Require riders to stage scooters in groups of no more than four
  • Require riders to place 40 feet between each staging area

For your information, the City of San Diego offers a map showing the areas with speed and parking restrictions. To prevent people from violating the regulations, riders will receive notifications from the dockless bike and scooter companies letting them know when they are in no-ride zones.

Although some people are not in favor of the regulations, they can help to prevent accidents on sidewalks. Just this year, the first known scooter fatality in San Diego occurred — a tourist was riding a scooter on the sidewalk when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed, suffering fatal head injuries. The report states that the tourist was not wearing a helmet.

New Dockless Scooter Regulations Enforced by the San Diego Police Department

Yes, with the new regulations, you can get a ticket and face fines for violations. The San Diego Municipal Code and California Vehicle Code explain the laws pertaining to scooters and bicycles. These laws are enforceable by the San Diego Police Department. The new regulation will allow riders and dockless device users to report dangerous behaviors and consider mechanisms for citations.

According to a Fox 5 News article, San Diego Police Department say they will be diligent in enforcing more serious traffic violations such as riding two people to a scooter or riding while under the influence. Both violations come with traffic tickets which require riders to go to traffic court or traffic school. Continue reading

According to California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the over four million traffic tickets handed out to the state’s drivers each year should no longer be criminal charges. If other lawmakers agree with her, California drivers would spend less time in court and would no longer face fines of up to $300 and possible license suspensions for failing to show up for a hearing.

A panel called the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System has recommended this traffic ticket proposal in an attempt to improve Californian’s interactions with the judicial system. Ms. Cantil-Sakauye wants the Judicial Council to study and report on the proposals by September in the Fall.

The traffic proposals are the latest response to the slew of driver suspensions brought on indirectly by the court system’s financial deficits. California courts have been padding their budgets by adding surcharges to traffic tickets — $490 to the standard $100 fine for a minor violation. When drivers miss payment deadlines, they face additional penalties and license suspensions. A statewide report in 2015 found that 4.2 million Californians had their licenses suspended between 2006 and 2013 for failing to pay traffic fines and penalties. Poor people were hit the hardest.

Under this proposal, traffic infractions would be moved to the civil court system. If a driver fails to show up in court, the judge can decide whether the law had been violated, but he or she could no longer impose a fine of up to $300 for nonappearance or suspend the driver’s license.  However, the proposal would not eliminate license suspensions for failing to pay fines and penalties for the original offense. The proposal would need to be approved by the state legislature and the governor.

State senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) has a new bill, SB185, that would prevent the state from automatically suspending licenses of drivers unable to pay fines for minor traffic tickets and would require courts to base fines on drivers’ ability to pay

Legal Implications

By switching out of the criminal law system into a civil one, it is now easier for the state to prove a violation. For criminal cases, prosecutors have to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  The switch to a civil system means prosecutors only need to prove guilt by a “preponderance of evidence,” meaning that over 50% of the evidence points to the defendant’s guilt. Continue reading

Last year, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch went on record as in a speech at the White House, actively opposing judges imposing traffic fines, calling such “the criminalization of poverty.” She cited the case study of Ferguson, in which citizens who have attempted to pay the ever-increasing fines of their traffic tickets and were subsequently arrested for not being able to come up with the money associated with late fees.

Fines Increase With Time

If you have received a parking or traffic ticket, you can bet that the fine will increase if it is not paid within the time specified on the ticket (usually 30 days). State and local governments fundraise through driving and parking tickets and they have no incentive to keep the prices down in the interests of fairness.