I am a traffic engineer for a local government in California. I got a speeding ticket on northbound Highway 29 at Butler Bridge on Sept. 27, 2010. Because of what I do for a living, I first requested for public records from Caltrans District 4 and asked for the engineering and traffic survey.
The survey was done in Oct. 15, 2001, and past due about seven years, assuming the CHP officers were trained for the radar gun use. According to California Vehicle Code 40801, 40802, 40803 and 40805, this section of Highway 29 is defined as a “speed trap” therefore all speeding tickets issued after Oct. 15, 2008, were illegal.
I requested for a trial by written declaration but Napa Court found me guilty. I then requested a trial in person dated Feb. 9, 2011, but the CHP officer did not show up, so I won the case and the fine was refunded to me.
I tried to plead my case, hoping all other illegally issued tickets would be refunded to the public, but the judge told me to go back in March 2011, when the CHP officer is available.
I declined it because I wouldn’t be able to take another day off from work and travel from Fremont to Napa to fight for other people.
I hope the Napa Valley Register can help. Since Caltrans did not perform the required engineering and traffic survey on Highway 29, I have the right to doubt that many other Caltrans owned Napa County state routes do not have the survey performed required by CVC.
The CHP in the region may have issued a very large number of tickets that are illegal.
These tickets generated some good amount of state and local income but should be going back to the public.
I also think that the CHP officer who issued my ticket did not show up in the court for a reason — so my ticket can be easily dismissed because of his absence.
Allen Chen / Fremont