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Red light cameras may get shut off

July 24, 2009 6:16:49 PM PDT
Most public officials like red light cameras, but many motorists do not. The city of Los Angeles is concerned it could lose these high-tech "speed catchers" because of one company's financial woes.The red light cameras are scattered at intersections all over Southern California, but the company that runs them is also in the red.

"For this particularly company, our information is they're $33 million in debt. That's a major problem," said L.A. Councilman Dennis Zine.

The company, Nestor Traffic Systems out of Rhode Island, filed for receivership in June.

Court documents state, "Certain critical vendors have either put the company on credit hold or stated that they will do so, which would risk completion of build-outs and the ability to obtain maintenance materials for ongoing business."

The company did not file bankruptcy. Receivership basically means an independent person takes charge of the company while they work out their legal issues. Eyewitness News called the company in Rhode Island to try to get a statement, but no one returned our calls.

The cameras have been controversial, and many motorists wouldn't mind if they went away.

"I got a ticket once at a red light camera, turning right. I didn't think you can get a ticket turning right, but I actually got cited for turning right. I think they suck, they need to come down," said motorist Sam King.

"If Nestor ends up folding, there'd be a two-year plan expedited fashion to bring another company. And what we want to do is explore to make sure we have a safeguard. I'm very reluctant to extend a contract with Nestor, they have a few more months on their contract. I'm very reluctant to extend that contract, knowing that they are in receivership," Zine said.

The city of Fullerton recently canceled its contract with Nestor, and all the red light cameras are now permanently turned off.

There are 32 red light cameras in the city of Los Angeles, and officials don't want that to happen here.

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