Riverside Puts Brakes on Red Light Cameras

The city estimates it will lose $500,000 annually if the cameras are removed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Riverside estimates that it will lose $500 million if the traffic-camera program is canceled July 8, 2014.

    The Riverside City Council put the brakes on its red light program on Tuesday night.

    The council's decision came during a meeting. The cameras were set up initially to help quell red light running at intersections and cut crashes, but there has been no evidence that it works. Legal challenges have also made enforcement difficult.

    "I think the fines have gotten outrageous," said City Councilman Steve Adams. "I think it’s time we have to look at another option."

    Councilmembers said that the idea of removing a system that potentially saved lives was a bad idea, but others encouraged looking into other options.  

    The city estimates that $500,000 is generated annually for the city from tickets issued. It expects to lose that revenue if they are removed.

    The city’s current contract with the outside firm that maintains the cameras ends in 2016, and the city will not face a fee for early cancellation as long as they give advance notice.

    The city's Department of Public Works said that all the cameras and tickets issued will remain in effect until the set termination date.

    "I think it does contribute to traffic safety," said City Councilman Mike Gardner. "I will regret seeing it go away."

    Riverside is the latest city to kill its red light camera program.

    The number of cities in the country using the cameras has dropped from 700 in 2011 to 500 at the end of 2013, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. In California, some 60 cities and counties have ended the programs.

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