Some Basic Questions and Answers


1. The citation or notice says that I ran a red light but I know I stopped.

First thing to do is to look at the video. You may have been distracted or not realized that a complete stop had not been made. A Traffic Commissioner will be looking at the same video in court.

2. The light was yellow when I went through, why am I cited?

The still cameras not only take a picture of you but also a picture of the traffic signal light at the same time. The video shows your vehicle continuously 6 seconds before the violation and 6 seconds after the violation.

3. How can I view the video?

You can view your video online at www.photonotice.com Use city code NEWRK. Please note that you have to hit the "Play" button twice to access your video. Citations over 60 days are not available at photonotice.com; however, the video is still available at the Newark Police Traffic Unit. Call Terri Hernandez at (510) 578-4713 for an appointment.

4. The site doesn't work, what's the next step?

You may use the photo enforcement computer located in the lobby of the Newark Police Department. The computer is available Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Assistance is available Thursdays 9:00 a.m. to noon. Also, the Newark Library has computers for public access and wireless is available for your laptop.

5. How does the camera know when to take a still picture and when to start the video recording?

The still cameras become active (turned on) when the signal light turns to red. A vehicle going over the buried wire loops in the roadway faster than a preset speed cause the pictures to be taken. The video camera is on continuous loop and as the violation occurs, captures and retains 12 seconds of video, 6 seconds before and 6 seconds after the violation. You will not be cited for any speed data, it is only part of the video activation process.

6. How can you take my picture without my permission?

You gave permission along with fingerprinting when you obtained your California Driver License.

7. I was in a right turn lane, so why do I have to stop at the red light?

Unless the turn lane is identified with a Yield sign, you must come to a complete stop and it must be before a limit line or the first line at a crosswalk. No part of the vehicle is to be past the limit or crosswalk line. Slowing down enough to shift into a lower gear or to merge in oncoming traffic is not a stop.

8. What is a complete stop?

The wheels stop rotation, or in technical terms, the vehicle's forward velocity is zero.

9. I don't have a front license plate, or the rear plate has an anti-photo cover over it, so how can a picture still be obtained?

The photo enforcement system works in pairs, that is, cameras are located at opposite sides of the intersection in order to photograph both license plates, and the driver. The vehicle code requires both front and rear license plates and it is unlawful to cover them with anything including paints, sprays, decals, shields, etc. As your citation shows, they do not work very well.

10. If I have a passenger, will their picture also be taken?

No, passenger's faces are electronically blanked-out to protect their privacy.

11. The driver in the picture is not me, or I sold that vehicle, what do I do?

The Corporate Nomination portion on the back of your citation or notice has the blocks to check and places to fill in the required information. Be sure to sign it and mail it back to either the Newark Police Department or Redflex, Inc. If the driver is a friend or family member, etc., provide their driver license number, or better still, enclose a photocopy of their driver license. Without doing so the citation will remain in your name.

12. What happens if I just ignore the citation?

You may have your license suspended, not be able to renew your driver license or re-register your vehicle, and possibly face additional collection fees and fines.

13. Who else sees my pictures and video?

The pictures and video are electronically retrieved by Newark's designated contractor Redflex, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona who previews the data for accuracy. They associate the license plate number to a registered owner and driver license database and then electronically forward the data to the Newark Police Traffic Unit. The designated, specially trained person at the Traffic Unit will verify the data, research any missing or incorrect data and issue either a Traffic Violation Notice or a Traffic Citation.

14. What is the difference between a Traffic Violation Notice and a Traffic Citation?

If the data received from Redflex, Inc. has incorrect or mismatched data such as the photograph does not match your driver license picture or the vehicle is not the same as the registered owner, then a Traffic Violation Notice will be issued to you. The notice will include black and white pictures of the driver and vehicle. If the data received from Redflex, Inc. is correct then a Traffic Citation is issued and the photographs will be in color. The citation is a summons resulting from a traffic infraction and you must either post bail or appear in court. In court you may have the option to go to traffic school if you have not done so within the last eighteen months to remove the incident (a point on your driver's license) as a moving violation.

15. How long does it take to receive a notice or citation in the mail from the time that I ran a red light?

About one week

16. What or who is Redflex, Inc.?

Redflex, Inc. installs and maintains photo-enforcement installations for numerous cities and communities throughout the U.S. and other countries. Their Phoenix, Arizona facility processes data from those installations as well as Newark's photo enforcement program. Visit www.redflex.com for further information.

17. I didn't know Newark was using photo-enforcement.

Signs are posted at all major entrances to Newark stating that it is photo enforced and numerous news articles have been published in The Argus local newspaper. The City of Newark's website and quarterly newsletter have also published articles about the photo enforcement program. Copies of the articles are in the Court Discovery Documents at http://www.newark.org/images/uploads/police/pdfs/RedLightCamera/Court_011408_Ch2.pdf.

18. Who calibrates Newark's traffic signals?

It is performed bi-annually by Newark Public Works personnel.

19. Why is this citation so expensive?

The amount is set by the State of California, not Newark. The court periodically revises fees making published fee schedules out of date.

20. What is a Trial by Written Declaration?

You can appear at your arraignment in court and request a trial by written declaration or you can telephone the court ahead of time and request a trial by written declaration form. Fill out the form with a check for the bail amount and mail it back to the court before the due date. The form is also available on line and can be filled out at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/tr205.pdf.

21. Can I go to traffic school to remove the point from my driving record?

Yes, if you have not been cited within the last 18 months (ticket to ticket) and do not have a commercial driver license.

22. Who can I contact for further information?

Call the Newark Red-light Photo Enforcement Technician at (510) 578-4713 for additional information or assistance.