Sometimes police abuse is not as straightforward as them hitting you over the head with their baton . . .
I wrote to you earlier about four anti-motorist bills being considered in Sacramento. While three of them appear to be stalled, probably not going anywhere, one of them still is moving ahead. Inexplicably.
The bill is AB 564. It will "gut" the Speed Trap Law. Since 1923 the Speed Trap Law has kept police from setting and enforcing too-low speed limits. AB 564 is coming to a crucial vote next Tuesday, the 23rd, in the Calif. Senate Transportation Committee.
The bill has already been approved in the Assembly. All that it needs in order to become law is Senate approval, and then the governor's signature. The bill will not bring a great deal of money to the State treasury, so the only possible explanation for the bill's progress so far, is that our legislature has lost touch with reality. Consider that AB 564 is opposed by the Teamsters and the AAA, and that even the legislature's own staff has nothing good to say about the bill:
Assembly Staff Analyst Alejandro Esparza: "By redefining the definition of 'local streets and roads,' under this bill, it is possible that unrealistic posted speed limits would be established without any regard to prevailing speeds (85th percentile) or traffic characteristics of the roadway. This could result in 'speed traps' and speeding citations for the overwhelming majority of drivers that are driving these roads in a prudent and safe manner causing no undue speed-related traffic hazards." (From Official Bill Analysis of 5-15-09, emphasis added.)Please call your senator, and the governor, about AB 564. I recommend starting with the governor's office, at (916) 445-2841, as there usually is a few-minute wait to talk to a staff member there, and you can use that time on hold to look up the phone number for your local senator, using one of the links at my site's page about AB 564, Legislation Info - Red Light Cams - Illegal Red Light Cameras
Senate Staff Analyst Jennifer Gress: "3. Problem of perception, creating a speed trap. When asked if there were a safety issue associated with speed on these streets, the City of Pasadena was not able to provide evidence that there was a higher collision rate, or any other type of incident that would indicate a safety problem, on what would be "local" roads under this bill relative to local roads defined in the traditional manner. It appears that the residents simply prefer a lower posted speed limit. Posting a lower speed limit, however, is not likely to slow traffic down. The 85th percentile has long been used as the standard for setting speed limits because experience has shown that the majority of people drive at a speed that feels safe for the conditions. If the conditions do not change on the roadway, drivers will continue to drive at their current speed. Because this bill allows for radar enforcement on segments that were not justified on the grounds of an ETS [engineering and traffic survey], this situation will likely cause more motorists to be cited for speeding. The committee may wish to consider whether it is appropriate to create what could be, in effect if not in statute, a speed trap for the residents of the City of Pasadena." (From Official Bill Analysis of 6-18-09, emphasis added.)
I anticipate that I may need to send one more of these legislative alerts this year - but only if AB 564 passes in the Senate and is on the governor's desk for signature. If you do not want to receive any more of these emails from me, please let me know and I will take you off the mailing list right away.