A San Mateo legislator is trying to give a break to drivers who use the beloved but illegal “California stop.”

Last month, the state Senate Transportation Committee approved 6-1 a bill by Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Hill that would lower the base fine for “California stops” from $100 to $35. With all of the state and court fees added on to traffic tickets these days, the actual total cost is $450 now. Hill’s bill would cut that to $200 to $250. For an example of how such fees can pile up, CLICK HERE.

Hill aide Nate Solov said the assemblyman is trying to correct what he considers to be an error in a 1997 law that targeted drivers going straight through intersections or making left turns on red lights. The law, which increased fines, also covered drivers making “California stop” right turns on reds, and Hill believes that shouldn’t have been the case, Solov said.

Also prompting the bill, Solov said, is a proliferation of red-light cameras in Hill’s district on the San Francisco Peninsula that are prompting tickets for drivers making “California stops” and lots of complaints from constituents. Solov called the red light tickets a “big cash cow” for cities.

Hill’s measure would reduce the “California stop” fine to what it was in 1997 — $35.

Hill’s legislation now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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  1. Pete

    Wonderful story. BUT, what is a “California Stop”? I’ve been driving the roads in California for 50 + years and this is the first time I’ve heard the term.

    July 8th, 2010 8:54 am

  2. mich harris

    Seems silly at a time when Calif. needs all the $$$ it can get. It is breaking the law and the fine should be paid. Just stop and there is no $100. fine!

    July 8th, 2010 10:23 am

  3. fuggoff

    stooooooopid move. It’s an illegal move that should be corrected. The message here is it’s OK….duhr.

    July 8th, 2010 11:30 am

  4. paul

    He hould get the green button and prize as promoting rolling stops will save gas, not just a little, but a considerable amount. If we got rid of the long-sequence signals at off hours, especially in rural areas, made rolling stops and rolling right turns legal acros the nation (still putting the legal right of way as is ,1st to arrive, st thru, etc), got rid of predatory traffic speed zones that are just local income machines (and should be illegal), the mpg per vehicle would start looking rational. we are talking millions of gallons per day. lost momentum for unneessary tops i the prime difference between city and freeway, and the actual gas consumption is enormous.

    Lets go for the green, make rolling stops legal. Get rid of repetitive signaling during off hours. afew people should be able to learn to merge.

    run a red light for green, the economy, and god, as well as saving a lot of time and wear and tear on the vehicles.

    July 8th, 2010 12:10 pm

  5. Henry

    Mr. Hill’s AB 909 was gonna limit the fine to around $250 but now has been gutted so it won’t. A new 20% surcharge went into effect on June 10, and current budget negotiations include a new $40 surcharge. So, with the cost of traffic school, the right turn tickets will be about $410. Ouch!

    I also gotta mention that the governor’s wants speed cameras – 500 of them – to help balance the budget.

    I’m taking out a 3rd mortgage so I can afford my traffic fines.

    July 8th, 2010 4:12 pm

  6. Hal Beck

    “California stops” were what these were called everywhere else in the country. Here I always heard them referred to as “Hollywood stops.”

    July 11th, 2010 9:03 pm

  7. KJ

    Uh, its not a “100 dollar fine”

    Its 450 – 550 dollars. Thats DOUBLE the fine for going THROUGH A STOP SIGN AT A 4-WAY INTERSECTION.

    Which puts more people in harms way? The punishment should fit the crime. Thats all this bill is demanding.

    August 30th, 2010 5:32 pm

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