Are innocent drivers caught in the crossfire of Capitola’s red light camera?, reader asks

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I just read your column this morning about the red light camera at 41st Avenue and Clares Street and have a comment. Someone official should observe that camera for a period of time. The other day we were stopped there in the next lane and observed cars turning on the red light next to us. We saw the camera flash for a car that had come to a complete stop before turning. Then we saw two or three cars scoot around the corner who only slowed down. One didn't even do that and the light did not flash. I remember thinking that it was not fair ,especially for the car that stopped fully. Does the camera have to 'recover' after a flash? Why did it flash for the compliant car? Evelyn Drew, Aptos A: “The camera is triggered by a couple of devices in unison,” said Sgt. Matt Eller, the Capitola Police traffic sergeant in charge of the red light cameras. “The light must be red and the approach speed is measured. If the approach speed is rather high and the car stops at the limit line, the photo will be taken.  Each citation is reviewed by me prior to issuance. If the vehicle stops at the limit line, no citation is issued.  The law states that you must come to a full and complete stop prior to turning right on red.” By the way, if drivers feel they were wrongfully cited, they can contest it by following the instructions on the back of the ticket.
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