Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fell and Masonic is a trap for motorists

The camera flashes before the car enters the intersection

Maria sends this message about getting a ticket at Fell and Masonic:

I had my court date, and my ticket was dismissed since I did not run the red the light. There were about seven people there contesting tickets received at this intersection.

The camera was put up at the end of December, and warning tickets were sent out for the first 30 days. Of the seven people who contested the ticket, the two (including me) who were sent a ticket without actually running the light were found not guilty. However the other five had mixed results.

The first two people were found guilty and had to pay the amount in full. Neither of them described the confusing intersection. Then the next two people had not actually run the red light, and they were found not guilty. By this point the judge was getting suspicious of the intersection, and the officer confirmed that all the red light violations for the day were for the same intersection.

Then another person went up who had actually run the light, but he explained to the judge that the light is confusing. He showed her pictures and pointed out that seven people were in the court on that day contesting the ticket. He explained his case well, and the judge agreed that the intersection was confusing and she found him not guilty.

I left after that point, but I can only assume that the other person was found not guilty as well.

I hope that you choose to contest this ticket as it is confusing and the camera set-up at a confusing intersection really seems like a trap for drivers. The intersection is also unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists as it gives them a false sense of security.

Channel 7 recently did a story on the intersection.

See also this and this on the speed trap issue at this intersection. 

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At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He explained his case well, and the judge agreed that the intersection was confusing and she found him not guilty.


I shot my wife, but the murder statute is confusing. Find me not guilty!

That is such bullshit. A red arrow is the FUNDAMENTAL LEFT TURN LAW. He would not have gotten a ticket had he not violated it.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger alai said...

So the question hinges on whether or not you can enter the intersection and wait when confronted with a red arrow, or whether you have to stop before the intersection. I'm guessing that the law is clear, but I suppose the city could put up a sign that says "STOP HERE ON RED ARROW v" on the post next to the crosswalk, if that helps make it less 'confusing'.

As for flashing before the driver entered the intersection-- well, he did enter the intersection, so I don't see the problem. Is it also flashing when cars do stop? If so, that would be annoying, though hardly a hazard (since they're stopped).

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, it looks like it's flashing before that car even enters the intersection. We're not talking about "hazard" here but about a traffic camera that's not functioning properly, unless you assume the city did it deliberately.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger alai said...

It could be that it's triggered by speed--IE if the car is at the line and still moving over a certain speed, it's clear that it's going to run the light.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

When you look at the Channel 7 story on the intersection, you have to conclude that these $400 tickets are just another city money-raising scheme, in spite of Rose's statement to the contrary. See also today's story in the Examiner about another way Muni preys on motorists.

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous ranelle sharma said...

hey so i did the same thing as the video on this page. i slowed dwn and stopped a little after the line after the flash.... i technically did not run nothing. i wasnt aware of the camera and im not familiar with this area. can i get this dismissed>?>? i cannot afford this im a broke college student and i just paid one of these 2 months ago

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Nick Read said...

This happened to me the other day. How much is the ticket and do you get a point on your license?


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