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L.A. delays decision on red-light cameras

The City Council extends until next week the debate over whether the program should be abandoned.

June 18, 2011|By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
  • Advocates of red-light cameras say they pay for themselves, but an audit last year by L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel found that claim to be inaccurate.
Advocates of red-light cameras say they pay for themselves, but an audit… (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles…)

The Los Angeles City Council delayed deciding the fate of the city's controversial red-light camera program, extending until next week the debate over whether the program should be abandoned.

The Los Angeles Police Commission voted unanimously earlier this month to end the program, a decision that put the city in the center of a national debate over the effectiveness of the cameras. Several major cities, including Anaheim, have banned them.

The cameras are installed at 32 intersections in Los Angeles.

Advocates of the technology say the cameras pay for themselves, but an audit last year by City Controller Wendy Greuel found that claim to be inaccurate.

The cameras have come under fire in part because the vast majority of the 180,000-plus camera-issued tickets since 2004 have been for illegal right-hand turns. Critics of the program say that claims of increased safety for motorists are inflated and that the cameras can provide their own dangers.

More than a dozen people appeared at Friday's council meeting to comment on the issue. At least five were employees of American Traffic Solutions, the company that has been operating the network of cameras for the last several years and is seeking to have a new three- or five-year contract awarded.

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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