For those of you who practice the “California stop,” the Legislature thinks you should pay a smaller fine if you get a ticket.
The Assembly today voted 48-8 to cut the fines for drivers who don’t make a complete stop before turning right on red lights, and now the bill goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his approval or veto.
If signed by the governor, the bill, AB 909 by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would cut 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.
Hill aide Nate Solov has 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.
Hill’s bill would reduce the “California stop” fine to what it was in 1997 — $35.