Option Not to Identify Driver "Snitch Ticket"

The next time you get a snitch ticket in the mail, you may be able to check off "none of the above" when asked to identify who was driving your car when it ran a red light if a new bill passes the legislature.  This is known as a snitch ticket. 

The state Senate unanimously passed SB 1303 on May 31. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, the bill tightens the rules for deploying red-light cameras and makes it easier to challenge so-called "snitch tickets."

SB 1303 also takes steps to preserve the legal right to remain silent if asked to identify the driver of a car photographed by a camera.

Whenever a red-light camera snaps a photo that isn't clear enough to identify the driver. According to the police, that's about 25 out of every 100 shots. The snitch tickets go to the vehicle's registered owner in hopes of making an identification.

There's no legal obligation for the registered owner to identify the driver, something the current form glosses over. It also tells recipients they must fill out and return the form -- again, not true. 

The goal of the proposed changes is to clearly indicate that you have the option to not identify the driver. The revised form would be used in all jurisdictions with red-light cameras and gives the vehicle's owner several check-box options, including one that states "none of the above" to account for situations where you may either not recognize the driver or not want to identify him or her. It also never states the form must be completed and returned.

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