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LA City Council Votes to Turn Out the Red Light Camera Program

Posted on 28 Jul 2011

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The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to halt the city's controversial red-light camera program, which has ticketed more than 180,000 motorists since beginning in 2004. The program will officially end July 31.

The action followed a similar vote last month by the city Police Commission, which sought to drop the 32-camera program in part because of the difficulty in collecting fines.

Unlike moving citations issued directly by police officers, red-light camera tickets, along with photographs of the alleged offense, are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle cited in the violation.

That has limited the Los Angeles County Superior Court system's willingness to aggressively enforce collections for the city and 32 other photo enforcement programs in Los Angeles County, officials said.

The City Council vote comes after this week's surprising revelation that authorities cannot force ticketed red-light camera violators to pay the fine. For a variety of reasons, including the way the law was written, Los Angeles officials said the fines were essentially "voluntary" and that there are virtually no tangible consequences for those who refuse to pay.

Legal questions about how intensively the city can enforce red-light camera tickets have been circulating at City Hall for months, and some officials have been publicly decrying the problem for some time.


Paul Neilson Jul 28 2011 10:36AM Report Abuse
Does this mean if you are/were a law abiding citizen and actually paid one of these tickets for $395 that you get a refund? I wonder why the vendor hasn't stepped in and offered some assistance to the city with the court. The court is pretty good about adding a civil penalty of $250 so the person who couldn't afford the $395 now has to pay $645 for each offense... With this news is the exposure of driving increased? I mean drivers who know the ticket doesn't count will they just run the light causing more accidents? We shall see...
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