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California Politicians Debate Red-Light Cameras

Many California officials must make decisions in the coming months about red-light camera policies in their districts, according to The Press-Enterprise. Los Angeles recently decided to end its red-light camera program, causing other cities to review their own policies, reports the news source. The red-light camera program in Los Angeles received backlash due to the lack of penalties against those with unpaid tickets, according to the news agency. The L.A. City Council ultimately decided to kill the program due to the inability to effectively enforce the citations, reports the media outlet. Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine is a strong opponent of the cameras and spoke out against the citation program, telling NPR that an unpaid ticket "doesn't impact your driver's license, your insurance, nothing." The city council in Orange County, California is attempting to ban the cameras as well, according to TheNewspaper.com. Although the city has never had a citation program, the council hopes to prevent a future council from deciding to use red-light cameras, reports the media outlet. Councilman Denis Bilodeau, who is also a member of the Institute of Traffic Engineers, opposes red-light cameras and stated his belief that the citation programs are primarily used to increase revenue, reports the news agency. He told the news source that he hopes to make it difficult for future council members to use a red-light camera system as a method to enhance revenue. Although many people believe the cameras promote safety, many California officials question this claim. San Bernardina and Loma Linda officials question the need for the cameras, as 80 percent of their citations have been for rolling right hand turns, which pose no real danger to drivers, reports The Press-Enterprise. "The safety factor hasn't been proven true," Loma Linda Councilman Ovidiu Popescu told the news source. Other Loma Linda officials have reported reduced red-light running by simply increasing the length of yellow lights by one- or two-tenths of second, according to the news agency. Riverside and Corona City Councils are currently trying to decide whether to renew their red-light camera contracts, which end this month, according to The Press-Enterprise. It is unclear as of yet what the councils will decide, although Corona Mayor Stan Skipworth told the news source that he saw no reason to continue the citation program. The Riverside City Council is scheduled to discuss the contract on August 22 and will vote on the issue in September. The Corona City Council will discuss the issue on August 17.
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 10th, 2011