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LA to shut down red-light traffic camera program

July 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to pull the plug on the city's money-losing red-light traffic camera program.

The City Council voted 13-0 to stop issuing photo enforcement tickets as of midnight Sunday, when the contract with an Arizona-based contractor ends.

The city will work with the vendor to remove cameras from 32 intersections and deal with existing tickets.

Some cameras will remain along rail and bus lines, as they are under Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority jurisdiction. There also are more than 30 other camera enforcement programs operating in other cities and venues within Los Angeles County.

The city was losing $1.5 million a year because many drivers weren't paying the mailed citations. There currently are about 65,000 outstanding unpaid tickets, Councilman Mitchell Englander said. The courts don't report most scofflaws to the Department of Motor Vehicles so failure to pay doesn't affect a driver's license or insurance.

Supporters of the program say red-light cameras prevent accidents, but critics say there's some evidence they actually cause fender-benders.

For those who have already paid for a red-light traffic ticket, it appears that there will be no refunds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.