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The People v. Steven Gray

April 3, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
STEVEN GRAY, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. C165383) (Appellate Div. No. BR048502) APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Lawrence H. Cho, Judge. Affirmed.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kitching, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

INTRODUCTION

Before a local jurisdiction may issue traffic citations utilizing an automated traffic enforcement system (ATES), it must comply with two requirements in Vehicle Code section 21455.5, subdivision (b): (1) it must issue warning notices for 30 days before issuing citations, and (2) it must make a public announcement of the ATES at least 30 days before commencement of the enforcement program. The issue in this appeal is whether the local jurisdiction must provide one 30-day period of warning notices and one 30-day public announcement at the commencement of the ATES in that jurisdiction, or whether it must provide the 30-day warning notice period and public announcement each time ATES equipment is installed at a new intersection in that jurisdiction. We hold that the local jurisdiction need only provide one 30-day warning notice period and one 30-day public announcement. We disapprove of People v. Park (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th Supp. 9, which comes to a contrary conclusion.

Steven Gray appeals from a judgment entered after the trial court found him guilty of violating Vehicle Code section 21453, subdivision (a),*fn1 by failing to stop at a red light at an intersection in Culver City. Gray's conviction for this violation was based on evidence produced by an ATES.

Culver City provided the 30-day warning notice period and public announcement when ATES equipment was placed in operation 10 years before Gray's citation was issued. We reject Gray's claim that Culver City should have provided another 30-day warning notice period and public announcement when ATES equipment became operational at the intersection where Gray's violation occurred. No violation of section 21455.5, subdivision (b) occurred, and we affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 21, 2008, a citation was issued charging defendant Steven Gray with violating section 21453, subdivision (a) by failing to stop for a red signal at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Helms Avenue in Culver City. An ATES recorded the violation.

Gray was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The defense made a pre-trial motion to dismiss based on Culver City's alleged failure to provide the 30-day warning notice period and public announcement requirements of section 21455.5, subdivision (b) before ATES equipment was installed at Washington Boulevard and Helms Avenue. Culver City stipulated that "Culver City has only conducted such warning notices and public announcements prior to the commencement of the entire program in Culver City in 1998, and that no such notices or announcements were done specifically for the intersection (at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Helm[s] Avenue, Culver City) at which defendant was photographed allegedly running a red light." The trial court denied Gray's motion to dismiss.

At trial, Gray stipulated that he was the driver depicted in the photographs and video captured by the ATES. The police officer in charge of Culver City's ATES testified about the installation, functioning, operation, and maintenance of that system.

At conclusion of the trial, the court found that the ATES-produced evidence was admissible, found Gray guilty of the charge, and ordered Gray to pay a fine.

Gray appealed to the Appellate Division of Los Angeles County Superior Court, which affirmed the judgment in People v. Gray (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th Supp. 10.

On October 12, 2011, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 911 and California Rules of Court, rule 8.1002, we ordered the case transferred to this court ...


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