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Re: Excessive traffic fine

From: domainremoved <Frank>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:43:27 +0000

Thanks for the response. Indeed, as I looked into this a bit more online I
realized that the amount of the fine is not unique to Menlo Park, and is
similar throughout the state. It has been many years since I was assessed
for a moving violation, and apparently I was quite out of touch with the
current levels. It does seem that a right turn on red violation should be
priced more like a stop sign violation (which it is similar to). But again,
this is a state-wide issue.
This experience convinces me all the more of the need for automated driving
technology in our automobiles. In addition to better detection of cyclists
and pedestrians, it will also help us all follow the traffic laws
correctly. One traffic fine already pretty much pays for the cost of
adding the technology to our cars. Human error is just too costly.
Frank Viggiano

On Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:53 PM Bertini, David C <dcbertini_at_(domainremoved)

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:

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:

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

650.330.6321 <(650)%20330-6321>

*From:* Frank Viggiano [mailto:fpviggiano_at_(domainremoved)
*Sent:* Monday, February 13, 2017 6:32 PM
*To:* city.council_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 - 16:46:25 PST

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