Steven Greenhut on California State Employees' Special Traffic Privileges


The Moscow Times

Seven years ago, a newspaper investigation found that a little-known California state program designed to protect police and judges from the public disclosure of their home addresses had expanded into a massive database of 1.5 million public employees and their family members, few of whom face any on-the-job dangers to merit the protection. Because of this Confidential Records Program, "Vehicles with protected license plates can run through dozens of intersections controlled by red light cameras and breeze along the 91 toll lanes with impunity," according to the Orange County Register report. They evade parking citations and even get out of speeding tickets because police officers realize "the drivers are 'one of their own' or related to someone who is." After the anger-inducing revelations, the legislature did worse than nothing, writes Steven Greenhut It killed a measure to force these plate holders to provide their work addresses for the purpose of citations, and expanded the categories of government workers who qualify for special protections.