Articles Posted in Cell Phone and Texting Tickets

The California Office of Traffic Safety has granted The Novato Police Department $120,000 for a year-long traffic enforcement program focusing on drunk driving patrols, red-light violations traffic citations.

The Novato Police will use the grant money to pay for LIDAR speed-detection devices, DUI saturation patrols and to enforce traffic regulations at certain problem intersections. LIDAR devices are taking the place of or supplementing radar devices in many jurisdictions in Marin County and throughout California. LIDAR uses a laser beam to detect the speed of moving vehicles. Marin County police agencies believe that LIDAR is more accurate than radar. The use of LIDAR is subject to the same officer training requirements and speed trap laws as the use of radar. In many instances if the citing officer cannot show that the use of LIDAR is justified based on a valid traffic and engineering survey a speeding ticket issued based on the use of LIDAR will be dismissed.

Novato’s traffic ticket and DUI grant enforcement runs through September 30, 2013 and will include 10 DUI saturation patrols and 10 distracted-driving patrols. Novato Police Officers will also conduct 10 traffic enforcement actions aimed at red-light running and excessive speed.
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Using funds from a grant provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, the Santa Rosa Police Department will be buying new equipment and instituting special traffic enforcement measures in and effort to save lives and prevent traffic related injuries.

The Santa Rosa Police Department will use funds from the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant to assist in efforts to deal with traffic safety problems and to purchase LIDAR (laser speed monitoring devices), Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) devices, educational materials and to pay for Police Officer overtime for officers working special enforcement activities like DUI Checkpoints. DUI offenders and drivers with suspended or revoked licenses will be targeted through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints, Drunk Driving saturation patrols, and court stings where driver’s with suspended or revoked driver’s licenses who drive away from the Sonoma County Courthouse are immediately pulled over.

The use of LIDAR devices has become commonplace in California, replacing the use of Radar guns by many police officers including most CHP officers. However, the use of LIDAR has not been generally accepted in the scientific community as a valid method for detecting the speed of moving vehicles. Further, although most traffic court commissioners and judges routinely allow LIDAR evidence to be introduced by police officers at traffic court trials, there is not a single California Court case approving of LIDAR devices. It would appear that most courts allow LIDAR evidence because most people do not fight traffic tickets with an attorney who would object and attempt to exclude the LIDAR readings.
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