Red light camera images are evidence: rules California’s top court

Red light camera images are evidence: rules California’s top court

California's apex court on Thursday upheld the admissibility of photos captured by red light cameras as evidence of traffic violations in the state.

The California Supreme Court's ruling in the case, known as People of California vs. Goldsmith, apparently put an end to a years old legal battle over the issue whether red light camera photos can be accepted as an evidence in a case or not.

In many traffic violation cases in California, police used images captured by red light cameras to detect violators and impose fines on them. Many argued that red light camera photos cannot be used as evidence against violators.

Defendants argued that American law doesn't recognize secondary witnesses to establish admissible evidence. A female traffic violator, named Carmen Goldsmith, argued that the photos produced by the automated traffic enforcement system (ATES) weren't admissible. But, the apex court yesterday upheld the admissibility of such images.

In its statement, the court said, "The ATES-generated photographs and video introduced here as substantive evidence of defendant's infraction are not statements of a person as defined by the Evidence Code. Therefore, they do not constitute hearsay as statutorily defined."

The California woman was found guilty of violating traffic rules and fined $436.

More than two dozens of states of the U. S., including Arkansas, Maine, Kentucky and Massachusetts, have already banned red light cameras outright or don't have them at all.

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