Over the last few years there has been a heated debate on the admissibility of evidence in red light camera ticket cases. In Kern County, the Courts would most often allow the evidence unless a legal objection was raised. Recently, the California Courts ruled that the printed representation of computer-generated information, video, or photographic images stored by an automated traffic enforcement system (ATES) does not constitute an out-of-court hearsay statement by a declarant. This was codified in the Vehicle Code as law. The high Court ruled that the printed representations are presumed to be accurate representations of the information or images they purport to represent. This presumption affects the burden of producing evidence and satisfied the CA evidence code in most cases.
As amended by SB 1303 (effective January 1, 2013), these California criminal code sections basically establish that ATES photographs are not hearsay, and thus no hearsay exception is required. Therefore, most judicial reviews of the violations in Kern County will now be guided by this law and authority. The legislation resolves a conflict between two Second District Court of Appeal cases. Both cases have been granted review by the California Supreme Court which should issue a legal ruling in the near future.