Murrieta residents will decide the issue of whether or not to keep red light cameras this fall after an appeals court today issued a stay of a previous order that would have kept the measure off the November ballot.
The California Fourth District Court of Appeal today announced a stay of Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia’s decision handed down on Aug. 3, that deemed the ballot initiative illegal.
The decision has been stayed pending further determination of the petition and its merits.
Citing flaws in the measure, Judge Ottolia’s Aug. 3 judgment was swiftly appealed on behalf of opponents of the red light cameras and Murrieta resident Diana Serafin by attorney Peter Lepiscopo.
Serafin sought to ban the red light cameras and, after collecting thousands of signatures, filed the initial petition to have the measure placed on November’s ballot, citing the expense of operation and a violation of civil rights.
Serafin declined to comment on today’s ruling on the advice of her attorney.
Resident Steve Flynn, who’d worked to put the cameras in place when he served as Murrieta Traffic commissioner, sought to take the matter out of voters’ hands altogether with a lawsuit filed in June, asserting that matters of traffic regulation are a statewide concern.
It was based on that filing that Judge Ottolia issued his decision last week.
Murrieta has three red light cameras — one at the intersection of Murrieta Hot Springs and Whitewood roads, one at Murrieta Hot Springs and Margarita roads, and another at Clinton Keith Road and Nutmeg Street.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.