Los Angeles News

Red-light cameras end, but tickets remain on record

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's the final chapter for L.A.'s red-light cameras: Starting Saturday, Los Angeles police will no longer have access to photos captured by the cameras.

While red-light cameras at 32 Los Angeles intersections have been taken down and the program is now defunct, those drivers who received citations before July 31, 2011, are still responsible for paying the fines.

Photos of drivers who never paid their tickets have been stored on a database, but as of Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department will no longer have a contract with the vendor of the cameras or access to the data. Officers won't be able to contest tickets in court, but the citations will remain in the court system.

"Those records are maintained in court and if they get another citation or come in contact with the court, they will then have to adjudicate and resolve the matter at that time," said L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine.

Zine was in favor of ending the red-light program because the city spent more to operate the cameras than it received in fines. An audit showed roughly 90 percent of the citations issued were for drivers who turned right on a red light.

"The bottom line is we have officers who cite. They see a violation, they issue a citation, whether the officer is on a motorcycle or a car, we're back to conventional enforcement," Zine said. "So for all intents and purposes in the city of Los Angeles, that program is dead."

Red-light cameras will still be present along Metro rail lines. Those cameras will be operated by Metro and are intended to catch drivers making illegal turns in front of buses or trains.

If you have not paid a red-light-camera citation, you can still renew your driver's license and vehicle registration.

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