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Red light camera tickets increasing

May 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Most red light camera tickets issued in Los Angeles do not involve drivers running red lights at intersections but, rather, turning right against a red light without first making a full stop.Some time years ago it was decided that intersections would be safer if cameras were installed to catch red-light runners. Cities could then mail out expensive citations.

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The theory was that the signs warning people of the cameras would ultimately boost compliance and cut down on the number of accidents.

"I think the cameras are actually really good. It protects people from running red lights," said Sherman Oaks resident Irina Matyukhina.

But now some people in L.A. are questioning whether the photo enforcement efforts in Los Angeles are designed to save lives or to pump up much-needed funds.

"In a lot of ways it is about generating revenue for the cities," said John Jasso.

John Jasso has received two tickets through the red-light cameras. He didn't get the tickets for barrelling through a red light. He got the tickets for not coming to a complete stop before making a right-hand turn.

"It is a $159 ticket, from what I have researched. They charge assessment fees, penalties fees and whatever other fees they decide to charge and it comes out to $381 total," said Jasso.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, 80 percent of red light camera tickets go not to those running through intersections but to drivers making rolling right turns.

Some cities choose not to use their cameras for rolling right-hand turns, but L.A. does. Eyewitness News checked with the L.A. Department of Transportation, but we were referred to the LAPD. And the people at the photo enforcement program at the LAPD didn't respond to an interview request.

While the people behind the cameras will not give an interview, the people getting the tickets will.

"We make our right turns and I think we should not get ticketed for it because it is not dangerous," said Sylmar resident Tammy Jones.

"You've got to pay the price and should stop when it is a red light," said L.A. resident Leah Park.

With more than 30 photo-enforced sections in the city and plans to add more, L.A. is truly becoming the place to go if you want to be in pictures.

 

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