April 2012

Watch Out Red Light Violators!

On November 21, 2008, a citation was issued charging defendant Steven Gray with violating Vehicle Code section 21453, subdivision (a) for failing to stop for a red signal at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Helms Avenue in Culver City.  An Automatic Traffic Enforcement System (ATES) recorded the violation.  Gray was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.  The defense made a pre-trial motion to dismiss based on Culver City’s alleged failure to provide the 30-day warning notice period and public announcement requirements of Vehicle Code section 21455.5, subdivision (b) before ATES equipment was installed at Washington Boulevard and Helms Avenue.  Culver City stipulated that “Culver City has only conducted such warning notices and public announcements prior to the commencement of the entire program in Culver City in 1998, and that no such notices or announcements were done specifically for the intersection (at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Helm[s] Avenue, Culver City) at which defendant was photographed allegedly running a red light.”  The trial court denied Gray’s motion to dismiss. At conclusion of the trial, the court found that the ATES-produced evidence was admissible, found Gray guilty of the charge, and ordered Gray to pay a fine.  Gray appealed the decision.  

State Law Forbids Employers From Requesting Social Media Passwords From Job Applicants

This month, Maryland became the first state to pass a law that prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring job applicants to hand over username and passwords for social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Maryland passed Senate Bill 433 and House Bill 964, which forbid employers from 1) requesting or requiring a job applicant to disclose user names or passwords for a personal electronic service; 2) refusing to hire an applicant for not providing access to such information; and 3) terminating or disciplining an employee for refusing to provide this information. However, the law also protects employers by prohibiting employees from downloading employer proprietary information to personal accounts and allowing employers to require that employees provide password and login information for company email accounts.

The law takes effect October 1, 2012, and may be found here.