Red-light cameras to be removed in Los Angeles

| 7/28/2011

The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-0 on Wednesday, July 27, to terminate its current contract for red-light cameras at 32 intersections. The operator is to begin removing the cameras in short order.

The unanimous vote sends a strong signal that the $2.7 million contract with American Traffic Solutions was just not worth it. Despite fines of $466 for violations – many of which were levied against drivers of vehicles making right-hand turns at intersections – the program had been losing money.

Without justification that the cameras improved safety or generated revenue, the City Council’s decision was unanimous. The vote comes on the heels of a recommendation earlier this year by the Los Angeles Police Commission to terminate the contract.

A 2005 study by the Federal Highway Administration showed that right-angle crashes decreased by 25 percent and injuries from right-angle crashes decreased by 16 percent at intersections with red-light cameras. However, the study also showed that rear-end crashes increased by 15 percent and injuries from rear-end crashes increased by 24 percent.

Roadway user groups say a better way to make intersections safer is by lengthening yellow-light times.

OOIDA and other groups, including the National Motorists Association and Safer Streets L.A., believe the cameras are moneymakers that are sold on a presumption of safety.

“We’re not defending people that blow through red lights,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer previously told Land Line. “The overwhelming body of evidence indicates that red-light cameras exist to generate revenue. These certainly can be mobile slot machines.”

See related story:
Red-light cams could go bye-bye in Los Angeles