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California town gets tough on red light violations

The town of Santa Clarita has installed blue light enforcers on stop lights at seven major intersections in an effort to reduce red light violations. While these lights do give police the opportunity to monitor traffic that may go through an intersection after a light turns red, they are not traffic cameras. They simply provide police with an opportunity to monitor drivers without having to pursue them through intersections.

The blue lights were part of a comprehensive campaign to increase safety in Santa Clarita. In addition, officers from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Department will engage in driver education and outreach. According to the town's mayor, speeding, failing to yield and running red lights are common causes of traffic accidents in Santa Clarita. A total of 15 lights were installed at intersections such as Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road and Bouquet Canyon Road and Seco Canyon Road.

For the most part, traffic citations are infractions or misdemeanors. This means that an individual will face minimal or no jail time if convicted. Common penalties include an order to appear at traffic school, points on a license or a fine. However, in serious cases, a misdemeanor charge could result in a license suspension or revocation or jail time.

An attorney might argue that an individual was wrongly cited or charged with a traffic crime. For instance, someone charged with speeding could have been the victim of a faulty radar gun or was making an effort to keep pace with traffic. If successful, legal counsel may make it possible for an individual to face a reduced charge or have a citation dropped completely.

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