Traffic Laws Do Not Apply to Everyone Equally

An obscure state law lets some public employees and their families ignore citations for red-light camera and toll violations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An obscure state law allows some public employees and their families to ignore citations for red-light camera and toll violations with impunity. (Published Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011)

    It's a special license plate, available to nearly a million and a half state workers and their families.

    This special plate allows them to blow through bridge and express lane tolls, without ever seeing a citation or paying the toll.

    Traffic Laws Do Not Apply to Everyone Equally

    [LA] Traffic Laws Do Not Apply to Everyone Equally
    An obscure state law allows some public employees and their families to ignore citations for red-light camera and toll violations with impunity. (Published Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011)

    They are also immune to stop-light camera tickets.

    It's all part of a little-known program, which is now getting a lot of attention.

    It started as a law passed in 1978 which kept the residential address of police officers from being released through the Department of Motor Vehicles. The goal was to keep criminals from tracking them down through their license plates and seek retaliation.

    But since then the program has expanded to include state lawmakers, park rangers, court personnel, parking meter officer, prison workers, county supervisors, and scores of other state agencies.

    A total of 1.5 million state employees and their families can now get that plate.

    So when they blow through an automated toll line or expressway where the camera takes a snap shot of their license plate, there is no home address to send the bill or citation.

    Along the 91 freeway expressway there were 3,428 unpaid tolls related to the privacy program last year, and 14,535 between 2003 and 2008, according to the Orange County Register.

    Tolls are also a big part of the bridge system in the San Francisco Bay area, where over the last two years 27,335 tolls were unpaid by those with "confidential" license plates, according to the Sacramento Bee.

    "We want to close that loop hole," promises Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona.

    Miller is introducing a law which would crack down on the offenders.

    "Nobody is above the law, and we need to make sure they pay those fines," according to Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona.