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Red Light Cameras

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2001
Each year, 260,000 crashes and 800 fatalities nationwide are caused by drivers running red lights. In Southern California , several communities are weighing the installation of surveillance camera systems at select dangerous intersections , despite controversy surrounding the efforts. In San Diego this week, a judge threw out 290 camera-generated tickets, saying the city had not properly supervised the company running the system.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2012 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police will not pursue through the courts scores of motorists with unpaid tickets from the city's defunct red-light camera program. The city Police Commission voted this week to end its contract with the company that operated L.A.'s cameras until they were shut off last summer. And authorities are now planning to reassign a small group of officers who regularly appeared in court to testify in contested photo enforcement cases. With the cancellation of the contract, officers will no longer have easy access to the photo and video evidence that courts require.
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NEWS
June 22, 2011 | By David Zahniser
The Los Angeles City Council stalemate over the city's red-light camera program grew even more pronounced Wednesday, with members making zero progress on the issue after trying four times in 10 minutes to resolve it. In a chaotic flurry of votes, during which two council members said they had accidentally voted the wrong way, neither supporters nor opponents of the cameras were able to gain the upper hand. The drama began when Councilman Tony Cardenas, looking to keep the camera program alive, asked his colleagues to postpone a decision on the matter until late July 26 -- five days before the program is slated to die. That motion passed on an 8-6 vote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
In the wake of Los Angeles' decision to kill its controversial red-light camera traffic enforcement program, new City Hall attention is being focused on the potential safety benefits of extending the length of yellow lights and other signal times at busy intersections. Some studies indicate that simple, low-cost changes to signal durations can significantly reduce accidents. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl last week proposed studying the effects of increasing yellow light times at 32 intersections where cameras used to automatically photograph and ticket drivers entering against a red. In addition, he wants to review a so-called all-stop option, a practice already in place in which signals turn red in every direction before permitting any traffic to pass.
OPINION
September 30, 2010
Los Angeles has been installing red-light cameras since 2000 and now has them at 32 intersections. There might be some grumbling from libertarians fretful about electronic spying, but most Angelenos seem to accept the devices as a new fact of life ? after all, they improve traffic safety, right? Maybe not. An audit released Wednesday by City Controller Wendy Greuel turned up little evidence that cameras influence driver behavior. Accidents fell at 16 intersections in the six months after cameras were installed, but rose at 12 and stayed the same at four.
OPINION
June 9, 2011
Red-light cameras don't get a lot of love in this town from anybody except the Los Angeles Police Department, but it still came as a surprise Tuesday when the civilian board that oversees the LAPD voted to eliminate them. The decision flies in the face of police statistics showing that accidents and fatalities have fallen dramatically at the 32 intersections where cameras have been installed. But was it the right call? To us, the evidence in favor of the cameras isn't compelling enough to urge the City Council to keep them running.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 2000
I really like the idea of cameras to reduce the number of drivers who run red lights, and I hope that this setup will also be used to nail the bozos who insist on barreling through long after the left-turn arrows have turned red. NORM ZARESKI Palos Verdes Estates
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2010 | By Shane Goldmacher
Speeding may be dangerous for drivers, but it could soon be a boon for California's fiscal health. Tucked deep into the budget that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled Friday is a plan to give cities and counties the green light to install speed sensors on red-light cameras to catch -- and ticket -- speeding cars. Those whizzing by the radar-equipped detectors at up to 15 mph over the limit would have to pay $225 per violation. Those going faster would be fined $325. Small-government advocates want to put the brakes on the plan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2011 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
The prospects for Los Angeles' red-light cameras dimmed considerably Tuesday, as a deeply divided City Council failed to muster the votes to resurrect the program six weeks before it is set to end. Using statistics, history lessons and even a reference to talk show host David Letterman, council members spent 90 minutes arguing the merits of the controversial traffic enforcement system without mustering eight votes to settle the matter one way...
OPINION
June 12, 2011
They're seeing red Re "L.A. may give red light to traffic cameras," June 8 As one of the legions of law-abiding citizens who has received, and paid, one of those insidious photo tickets, I saw red when I read this article. I paid $466 for my ticket, as did several of my friends who were "flashed. " We now learn that we paid these tickets "voluntarily" because there is no enforcement of them. Really? I don't remember seeing that anywhere on my ticket. I did see plenty of threatening jargon that had this obedient citizen scrambling for her checkbook.
OPINION
August 24, 2011
If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? More to the point, if you roll past a stop sign in the woods and nobody is there to see it, do you get a ticket? You do if you're in one of the three Santa Monica Mountains parks overseen by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority where stop-sign scofflaws are on candid camera. The authority has set traps for unsuspecting motorists by installing video cameras at stop signs and mailing citations to those who fail to come to a complete halt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
After months of intense debate over the fate and effectiveness of red-light cameras, the L.A. City Council on Wednesday delivered a final blow to the controversial program, voting unanimously to shut it down July 31. The 13-0 vote came in the wake of a backlash over disclosures that paying hefty fines for camera-issued tickets is considered "voluntary" by many city officials and because the Los Angeles County Superior Court has opted not to aggressively...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Abby Sewell and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
Bob Brickman spent months fighting a ticket he got last fall from a red-light traffic camera at Wilshire and Sepulveda boulevards in West Los Angeles. The 61-year-old from Playa Vista eventually decided to give up the fight and fork over the $476 fine. Now he's regretting paying every penny. City officials this week spotlighted a surprising revelation involving red-light camera tickets: Authorities cannot force violators who simply don't respond to pay them. For a variety of reasons, including the way the law was written, Los Angeles officials say the fines for ticketed motorists are essentially "voluntary" and there are virtually no tangible consequences for those who refuse to pay. The disclosure comes as the city is considering whether to drop the controversial photo enforcement program, with the City Council scheduled to vote on the matter Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
Motorists who get tickets under the city's controversial red-light camera program can shrug them off, Los Angeles officials agreed Monday. That was one of the few points of consensus to emerge from a three-hour City Council committee hearing on the future of the much-debated photo enforcement system. The session ended with a recommendation to stop issuing citations at the end of the month and "phase out" the program. Richard M. Tefank, executive director of the city's Board of Police Commissioners, told the Budget and Finance Committee that the tickets are part of a "voluntary payment program" without sanctions for those who fail to submit fines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2011 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
The question of red-light cameras in Los Angeles was transformed Wednesday from a knotty policy issue into a full-blown summer saga, with the City Council hopelessly deadlocked and debate expected to drag on for weeks. During the council's third discussion of the program in six days, neither side gained ground. After a chaotic flurry of votes, during which two council members said they had accidentally voted the wrong way, neither side had a majority and the matter was sent to Councilman Bernard C. Parks' budget committee.
NEWS
June 22, 2011 | By David Zahniser
The Los Angeles City Council stalemate over the city's red-light camera program grew even more pronounced Wednesday, with members making zero progress on the issue after trying four times in 10 minutes to resolve it. In a chaotic flurry of votes, during which two council members said they had accidentally voted the wrong way, neither supporters nor opponents of the cameras were able to gain the upper hand. The drama began when Councilman Tony Cardenas, looking to keep the camera program alive, asked his colleagues to postpone a decision on the matter until late July 26 -- five days before the program is slated to die. That motion passed on an 8-6 vote.
OPINION
April 3, 2010
Taking sides Re "On Immigration: We must take decisive steps; our economy and budget are at risk," and "On Immigration: We need common-sense solutions, without divisive rhetoric," and "Fighting back on immigration," Editorial, March 27 Your editorial on immigration says that furious Republicans declared bipartisanship at an end after the Democrats passed healthcare reform. Which bipartisanship was that? The bipartisanship that led one senator to say that if the Republicans could kill the healthcare bill, it would destroy the Obama administration?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
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.
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