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RE: Excessive traffic fine

From: Bertini, David C <"Bertini,>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:52:56 +0000

Good afternoon Mr. Viggiano.

Thank you for your recent email to the City asking for clarifications on traffic fines. Although I sympathize with your concerns about the fine amount, please be aware that the Police Department does not set, nor do we have any influence on the fine for any Vehicle Code violations. All traffic fines, other than Municipal Code violations are set by the State of California and the County in which the offense occurred.

The State of California, annually creates a Uniformed Bail Schedule which establishes a “base fine” for traffic violations and the 2017 Schedule can be found here: http://www.sb-court.org/Portals/0/Documents/PDF/General%20Information/JCBailSchedule.pdf

The County of San Mateo, then adds assessments (typically known as court fees). Those assessments are regulated by State Law. The Superior Court of San Mateo County has posted on their website a document appropriately titled “Why is your bail or fine so much?”, which explains all of the penalties and assessments. That document can be found here: http://www.sanmateocourt.org/documents/forms_and_filing/tr-07.pdf

Again, although I sympathize with the substantial fine amount you incurred due to the violation you committed, the City of Menlo Park nor the Police Department, have any power to change it, as these laws can only be changed by state legislators or by the voter initiative process.

Feel free to contact me if you wish to further discuss this issue.


Commander Dave Bertini
Menlo Park Police Department
701 Laurel Street
Menlo Park, CA. 94025

From: Frank Viggiano [mailto:fpviggiano_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2017 6:32 PM
To: city.council_at_(domainremoved)ark.org>; piaguilar_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Excessive traffic fine

Recently my wife and I were driving our daughter home to her Menlo Park apartment in the late evening hours, and were caught by your automated camera ticketing machine, for making a right turn on red without making a full stop. While I support the need to enforce traffic rules, and even agree that such a system can be a very effective way to do it, I think that the $490 fine is far more than the the amount necessary to act as a deterrent. Half that amount would already be quite painful and serve as a lasting reminder to be more careful.
We often meet up with our daughter for a weekend dinner out in Menlo Park. However, after this absurd fine, we will boycott all Menlo Park establishments for the indeterminate future (even beloved haunts such as Cafe Barrone). I spoke with a friend who also received a similar fine for an infraction coming off the Dumbarton bridge turning onto Willow. We came up with the boycott idea together. If you reduce these fines to a reasonable amount (e.g. reduce by half), let me know and we will begin patronizing your establishments again (and I'll also notify my friend). But for now, we'll be eating and shopping in Palo Alto or Redwood City.
Frank Viggiano
Received on Tue Feb 21 2017 - 14:55:39 PST

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