Traffic FAQ

Q: What type of evidence is obtained when one of the red light cameras takes my picture for running a red light?

A: Two types of evidence are obtained. First, a series of still shots are taken which show the license plates of the car and the occupants of the vehicle. Second, a 12 second video is taken, showing approximately 6 seconds before and 6 seconds after running the red light. Click here to see an example of the video. You may view your red light video prior to going to court. Your original notice will have a phone number to call to arrange an appointment. For information on Red Light Camera violations, please call (619) 579-4228

Q: Speeding is a major problem on my street. How can I get assistance from the Traffic Division?

A: Speeding is a major cause of accidents and one the primary areas of concern for all traffic personnel. Whenever possible, streets that receive a notable number of complaints receive immediate attention. This may be through simple radar enforcement, use of the Radar Trailer or by teams of officers working together to reduce a particular problem. All of this takes a significant number of man-hours per day and is dependant on staffing and the specific problem being addressed. A chart is maintained that logs in specific complaints. Each area is given attention, depending availability of officers and the number of hours needed to address the problem.

Q: What is the difference between a Motorcycle Officer and a Traffic Officer who drives a car?

A: Motorcycle Officers normally specialize in traffic enforcement via radar as well as target specific problem areas of the city where collisions occur. Their ability to maneuver easily makes them ideal for this purpose. They also work special events, where space and rapid response is critical. Examples of this are the San Diego Stadium or various parade events.

A Traffic Officer assigned to a car also works traffic enforcement, but spends the majority of his time as an investigator of collisions. Such officers also work Hit & Run collisions, as well as more serious accident scenes.

Q: I received a Parking Ticket, yet my neighbors car did not for the same violation. Why did this occur?

A: Parking enforcement is a major task for the Traffic Division and can be overwhelming in the sheer number of violators. The reason a particular vehicle is cited and another by-passed can be due to a number of factors. These include: Number of complaints on a selected vehicle, limitation of time on behalf of the citing officer, previous markings by an officer on a particular problem vehicle, vehicles selected by priority in terms of the seriousness of the violation and finally, the officer was called away prior to completing all of the tasks on that specific street.

Additional information can be found on the back of the Parking Ticket.

Q: My vehicle was impounded for 30 days. In the past, I had a vehicle impounded for only 24 hours. Why the difference?

A: The most common reason a vehicle is impounded for 30 days is a Driver’s License violation. This is explained via Sections 22651{a} thru {t} of the California Vehicle Code {VC}, as well as 22651.3 thru 22658 VC. This book is available at your local library. Additional sections to assist you are 14601{a} thru 14610 VC, which explain common license violations as well as impounds for those offenses.

Additional reasons for 30 day impounds include Reckless Driving or Drag Racing. These offenses begin at 23103 VC and beyond.

Examples of a 24 Hour Impounds are: Expired registration tags over {6} months, select parking violations, expired drivers license over {30} days, as well as drivers arrested for a criminal offense while in possession of the vehicle.

Examples of 30 Day Impounds are: Suspended or Revoked drivers license with prior offenses, engaging in a Speed Contest {Drag Racing}, no Driver’s License issued with prior contacts for same offense {Never had a driver’s license issued during lifetime} as well as vehicles impounded as evidence during a criminal investigation {Hit & Run, for example}.

There are many other reasons for impounding a vehicle, but these are among the most common. If you have questions, it is always best to ask the officer at the time of impound as to the reason for the seizure. You are also welcome to call the El Cajon Traffic Division at {619} 441-1632 for more information.

Q: My vehicle has been impounded for 30 days. How can I contest the storage?

A: If your car has been impounded for 30 days, you may request a “Post Storage Hearing” to appeal the impound. You must submit your request within 10 days of the date of the impound. You may come in to the police station for a copy of this request, or a copy the “Request for Vehicle Storage Hearing” is provided on the Internet for you to fill out and bring to the station. A hearing officer will call you within 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to schedule an appointment.

Q: I have noticed an increase of DUI Checkpoints {Driving Under the Influence} within the City of El Cajon. Why is this occurring?

A: Driving under the Influence offenses, primarily alcohol, have reached record proportions in the State of California. Over the past few years, the number of offenders has cycled up and down, but once again are on the rise for 2003. This is a major safety issue for all citizens in our county and one that must be addressed in an assertive manner.

Over a period years, MADD {Mothers against Drunk Driving}, the California Legislature as well as the court system, have joined forces to enact and enforce strict laws regarding DUI drivers. This has resulted in a number of innovations, among which is the DUI Checkpoint. In essence, drivers are directed into a specified area during which they are contacted by an officer. They are asked for a drivers license, along with inquires to see if they have been drinking that evening. During contact, drivers are often handed information sheets or ribbons as an educational tool to reinforce the negative consequences of drunk driving. Representatives from many organizations are often present at these checkpoints, including MADD, outside law enforcement agencies as well as the news media.

Fortunately, many drivers do not drink and drive and the contact is a positive one. If a driver is found to have been drinking, they are directed to a Secondary Area where they are tested. If arrested, their license is taken from them and the car impounded. The license, being property of Department of Motor Vehicles, is returned to DMV along with an attached notice. A temporary ‘Admin Per Se’ driving form is issued to the driver, which allows driving and appeal rights for 30 days. Thereafter, the license is automatically suspended per DMV.
Questions regarding the law on Driving Under the Influence, and your obligations regarding those offenses, can be found beginning with 23152{a} of the California Vehicle Code {VC} thru 23249.50 VC.

If you have any other questions regarding DUI Checkpoints, please contact the Traffic Division at {619} 441-1632 and every attempt will be made to assist you.