Southern California breaking news and trends

Pasadena green-lights the end of red light cameras

red light camera sign

Photo by Purple Wyrm via Flickr Creative Commons

The latest city to close its red eye in the sky is Pasadena, where, as of last Sunday, drivers no longer have to worry about posing for posterity as they push their luck with yellow lights.

Pasadena Sun reports that the city has officially terminated the red-light camera program and ended its contract with with vendor/operator American Traffic Systems. The program had been running at a deficit.

The city's seven red-light cameras switched on in 2003 under a contract that ended in June 2011. The program, deemed a drain on law enforcement resources, was extended for one year by the City Council to study traffic safety effectiveness.

All equipment will be taken down.

 

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Gone in a flash: The end of the red-light camera era

Now that the red light cameras are gone, should yellow traffic lights be longer?

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Gone in a flash: The end of the red-light camera era

red light camera sign

Photo by Purple Wyrm via Flickr Creative Commons

Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red-light camera anymore. 

A Police Commission vote on Tuesday to end the contract with its red-light camera operator means that the program is over, effective this weekend. LAPD will no longer have access to the data, video, and photos of you gesturing offensively at the traffic signal as it snapped your picture and stole your soul. 

In July, the L.A. City Council voted to shut down the expensive and controversial program, amid questions about whether it actually saved lives. Since that time, the city has not aggressively pursued outstanding tickets and has no plans to do so. 

The police department kept alive the contract with American TrafficSolutions to collect revenue from unpaid tickets on a voluntary basis. Gross revenue has declined from $191,539 in September to $69,905 in January, says the L.A. Times.

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No more red-light camera tickets in Glendale

red light camera sign

Photo by Purple Wyrm via Flickr Creative Commons

Glendale police, like their Los Angeles counterparts, will no longer issue citations for violations caught on the city's red-light cameras. 

Officials said the decision, which took effect Feb. 24, was made because the program had become a burden on resources -- the officier assigned to reviewing violations was needed out in the field, reports the Glendale News Press.

Phoenix-based Redflex Traffic Systems, camera system's operator, received a letter from police last month notifying the company that they were terminating the program. 

Program costs had been paid by camera-caught citation revenue, according to officials, but the city was just breaking even after a drop in violations.

Glendale's move comes eight months after the Los Angeles City Council and Police Commission unanimously voted to terminate their red-light camera enforcement for an array of reasons, including its cost effectiveness and payment of the tickets.

While state laws allow police agencies to use red-light cameras for enforcement, recent successful litigation challenging the legality of those citations also played a role in the decision to stop the program, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

More than 5,800 red-light camera citations were issued last year. Motorists with pending tickets should check the status with local courthouses.

Police say they will not pursue citations issued before Feb. 24, and will not contest a ticket that's challenged in court. Those who paid fines and pleaded guilty to tickets before Feb. 24, however, will not be reimbursed.

Maybe the cameras could be repurposed to keep an eye on bears?

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