Petition Closed
Petitioning District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and 16 others

HALT THE SFMTA STREET SWEEPING CAMERA PILOT PROJECT, SFMTA MUST FIRST FOLLOW THE LAW!

In 2011, SFMTA raked in $29 million on street sweeping citations alone. Street sweeping citation is the biggest money maker for SFMTA. By June 2012, it is slated to complete its Street Sweeping Camera Pilot Project evaluation wherein it may ultimately decide to install front-facing cameras which will, undoubtedly, increase SFMTA’s revenue.

In the meantime, SFMTA continues to allow some of its parking citation officers (PCOs) to issue and submit citations in violation of California Vehicle Code 40202(a) in which it CLEARLY says The notice of parking violation shall also set forth the vehicle license number and registration expiration date if they are visible, the last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if that number is readable through the windshield…” 

Some SFMTA parking citation officers thought they found a loophole by simply entering “cannot read”, “covered”, or “unable to locate” in the VIN field space of a citation. SFMTA management has no way of verifying if the citation officer even made an effort to read the VIN plate!

Here are some facts (there are more listed in the Petition Letter):

03/07/12: Officer NW (Badge #206) wrote 66 citations of which he said he "cannot read" the VIN plate information on all 66 of them!  Could it really be true that 100% of drivers have their VIN plates covered/unable to read?

02/01/12: Officer TA (Badge #12) wrote 27 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 27 of them. Could it really be true that 100% of drivers have their VIN plates covered/unable to read?

12/05/11: Officer LS (Badge #238) wrote 85 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 84 of them.  Could it really be true that 98% of drivers have their VIN plates covered/unable to read?

11/07/11: Officer LS (Badge #238) wrote 73 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 71 of them.  Could it really be true that 97% of drivers have their VIN plates covered/unable to read?

SFMTA has NOT fully protected the rights of San Francisco vehicle owners!

 We ask, as the constituents, that our representatives:

1.  halt the Street Sweeping Camera Pilot Project until SFMTA has fully addressed the fact that it has allowed its PCOs to break the law.

2.  require SFMTA to FIRST follow the law before asking San Francisco residents to help SFMTA increase its revenues!   

Until the legislature changes the law, SFMTA must require and hold its parking citation officers accountable to ACCURATELY AND TRUTHFULLY write down the last four digits of our vehicles' VIN plates.  If it means if they need to get out of their vehilces to obtain this required information (yes, rain or shine!), then they should!!

3.  require SFMTA to have a procedure in place to independently confirm and verify that all citations submitted by its PCOs are submitted truthfully and accurately, particularly when a high percentage of submitted tickets appear to be false.

If SFMTA expects us to follow the law, we expect the same from them!

 

Letter to
District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen
State Senator Leland Yee
Board President, District 3 Supervisor David Chiu
and 14 others
Mayor, San Francisco Ed Lee
SFMTA Board San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority
District 11 Supervisor John Avalos
District 9 Supervisor David Campos
District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener
District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd
District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague
District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu
District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell
District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar
District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim
SFMTA Director Ed Reisken
12th District Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
California State Senate
I just signed the following petition addressed to: SFMTA Director, SFMTA Board, SF Board of Supervisors. SF Mayor Ed Lee, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, and Senator Leland Yee.

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In 2011, SFMTA raked in $29 million on street sweeping citations alone. Street sweeping citation is the biggest money maker for SFMTA. By June 2012, it is slated to complete its Street Sweeping Camera Pilot Project evaluation wherein it may ultimately decide to install front-facing cameras which will, undoubtedly, increase SFMTA’s revenue.

In the meantime, what SFMTA is not addressing and not letting the public know is the fact that it continues to allow some of its parking citation officers (PCOs) to issue and submit citations in violation of the California vehicle code and its very own PCO Training Manual.

In 1990, the legislature passed AB 3261 to provide citizens more rights and even more legal consumer protection by ensuring that the notice of parking violation SUBSTANTIALLY matches the corresponding information on the registration card of the vehicle and with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.

This is clearly stated in California Vehicle Code (CVC) 40202(a) in which it says “The notice of parking violation shall also set forth the vehicle license number and registration expiration date if they are visible, the last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if that number is readable through the windshield…”

Without requiring a PCO to write down the last 4 digits of VIN, a citizen could easily receive bogus tickets, may inadvertently pay someone else's ticket if they rely solely on a citation number when paying online (because the registration tabs and VIN are omitted), it would make it difficult for SFMTA to verify and/or match the citation with DMV registration, and lastly it would make it more difficult to appeal a ticket. In fact, an unscrupulous person can intentionally switch license plates simply for the purpose of avoiding paying for registration renewals, or even misuse by an out-of-town convict.

Some SFMTA parking citation officers have gotten ‘smarter’ thinking they found a loophole by simply entering “cannot read”, “covered”, or “unable to locate” in the VIN field space of a citation. SFMTA management has no way of verifying if the citation officer even made an effort to read the VIN plate!

In 09/27/10, SFMTA has confirmed that PCOs are required to get out of their vehicles if they cannot read the VIN plate from where they are sitting. In fact, it is considered to be a ‘necessary procedure’.

Here are the facts (bear in mind this is just for one day, one officer):

03/07/12: Officer NW (Badge #206) wrote 66 citations of which he said he "cannot read" the VIN plate information on all 66 of them! Could it really be true that 100% of drivers have their VIN plates covered/unable to read?

02/01/12: Officer TA (Badge #12) wrote 27 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 27 of them.

12/05/11: Officer LS (Badge #238) wrote 85 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 84 of them.

11/07/11: Officer LS (Badge #238) wrote 73 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 71 of them.

10/03/11: Officer CM (Badge #48) wrote 57 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 55 of them.

09/07/11: Officer KW (Badge #299) wrote 63 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 59 of them.

08/15/11: Officer MR (Badge #24) wrote 58 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on 52 of them.

These citations were all issued even AFTER KTVU did a report back in May 2011. Retired superior court judge Kopp stated that "(he) would have tossed the ticket. ‘I would not find compliance with the statutory requirement. And lack of compliance with a statutory requirement makes the citation null and void." See: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/wrongly-issued-tickets-could-cost-sf-millions/nD5hg/

In this same special report, San Francisco consumer attorney Arthur Levy stated that the state's vehicle code is the criteria. "The state legislature went out of its way to put that provision into the code. It is really not up to those agencies to second guess what the legislature provided. Their job is to follow the law as it is presented to them and since that law says that the VIN needs to be recorded, it ought to be.”

SFMTA has NOT fully protected the rights of San Francisco vehicle owners and allowed its PCOs to continue to violate CVC 40202(a), and its very own training manual & policies.

The Parking Citation Officer Training Manual clearly states that “Any report completed with false content and/or submitted in a fashion designed to deceive or mislead is deemed to be a false report.”

I ask you these questions:

*** Could it really be true that 66 out of 66 vehicle owners have VIN plates that were unreadable through the windshield? 100%?
*** Do you think that submitting 66 tickets of which all 66 said “cannot read” VIN are considered true and accurate?

We ask, as your constituents, that you:

1. halt the Street Sweeping Camera Pilot Project until San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority has fully addressed the fact that it has allowed some of its PCOs to submit false information.

2. require SFMTA to FIRST follow the law before asking San Francisco residents to help SFMTA increase its revenues!

Until the legislature changes the law, SFMTA must require its parking citation officers to ACCURATELY AND TRUTHFULLY write down the last four digits of your vehicle’s VIN plate number. If it means they need to get out of their vehicles to obtain this required information, then they should!!

3. require SFMTA to have a procedure in place to independently confirm and verify that all citations submitted by its PCOs are submitted truthfully and accurately, particularly when a high percentage of submitted tickets appear to be false.

If SFMTA expects us to follow the law, we expect the same from them!

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Sincerely,