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Corona reducing red-light ticket fines?

September 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Southland community is considering a move that lots of motorists will love: cutting fines for those caught on camera running red lights. That community is Corona, where city officials discuss the plan Wednesday night. The mayor of Corona says it is one of the most expensive red light tickets in the country: $466. And he is going to ask the city council to slash the fine.

Corona Mayor Steve Nolan says that drivers caught on camera running a red light are seeing red.

Nolan believes that the hefty fine is too much for many cash strapped drivers in this current economy.

"Four-hundred-sixty-six dollars is just devastating. It's an entire Christmas for some families," said Mayor Nolan. "The punishment doesn't fit the crime."

Nolan wants the city to slash the fine to around $150. Currently tickets are issued under the state vehicle code but he wants Corona police officers to start issuing administrative citations under the city's vehicle code instead.

"We are already involved in the process," explained Nolan. "This would just be a manner of us sending out an administrative citation versus the state of California where they get a ding on their record. They get a point which raises their insurance rates."

Nolan says the reduced fine would still cover all costs associated with the cameras and also still hit violators where it hurts.

The city has four red light camera intersections and since the program started at the beginning of the year, the city has handed out more than 6,500 tickets.

Eyewitness News asked drivers from Corona how they felt about the mayor's plan.

"It's way too much money," said Stefani Atkinson. "I absolutely think it'd be absolutely fabulous considering that I just got one."

"If you run the red light you should pay the fine," said Stacy Severtson. "No matter how much it is you should pay it."

The mayor is presenting his proposal to the City Council Wednesday night. He says if all goes well he is hoping that those red light tickets, at least the fines, will be reduced in the next two weeks.

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