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Red Light Cameras Should Go

The City Council should vote to end this wasteful program.

As many L.A. drivers know, red light cameras are merciless.

But despite the tickets they issue, a study by City Controller Wendy Greuel found that the cameras cost our city a million dollars a year because the system was installed and is maintained by a contractor that charges more than the system generates.

Others have argued that the safety benefits were overstated. Most of the citations were for rolling right-on-red turns, hardly a major safety issue. Fines can exceed $500, a devastating blow for a low-income family. The Greuel audit noted that 45 percent of the tickets remain unpaid.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously decided to shut down the system. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted 7-5 to keep the red light cameras in place, but because the council didn't muster an eight-vote majority, the issue will keep resurfacing on the council agenda until it's resolved.

It’s time to terminate the red light camera system. A simpler, better safety solution is to shift intersections to an “all red” time. It doesn’t have to last long. A second or two of red  lights in all directions would allow all cars trying to make the yellow light enough time to get through, before the other side starts up.

Linda Lucks June 28, 2011 at 07:15 AM
Red Light Photo CAmeras have to go, but only if you help them go. Find Jay Beeber and ask him what to do. He runs www.saferstreets.org and is a member of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council. An all around good guy. find his action web site: www.saferstreets.org and call you council members on the edge. If you do get one of these crappy tickets, Sherman Ellison, is the traffic defense guy getting almost all those ticks dismissed. I kid you not. Do not pay till you speak to him. www.ShermanEllison.com 877-946-6373 Free Evaluation
none June 28, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Of Course they should be removed! Think about it... we have outsourced the interpretation of law and penalties to companies (remember the red light calibration of the early cameras were wrong). These companies also impose self serving fines for profit. They generate millions of dollars and the city has to pay them tax payer money to maintain them. The California State Constitution clearly does not allow for these types of excess fines... Code No. 50076, a 1997 California appellate court ruling stated that: "The government should prove (1) the estimated costs of the service or regulatory activity, and (2) the basis for determining the manner in which the costs are apportioned, so that charges allocated to a payer bear a fair or reasonable relationship to the payer's burdens on or benefits from the regulatory activity." The California Constitution states that cruel and unusual punishment may not be inflicted or excessive fines imposed.

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