City Seeing Green, Drivers Seeing Red Over Fines

Red-light fines have jumped nearly 65% in Los Angeles County

Do they promote safety or fill the city's coffers? Experts from both sides disagree but one things for certain: getting a ticket for a red-light traffic violation has become a lot more expensive.

According to the LA Times, fines have jumped nearly 65% in Los Angeles County since 2002. The average ticket has gone from $271 to $446. Including traffic school fees, the bill can set you back more than $500, the Times said.

The city processed nearly 13,000 red-light tickets in November alone and netted nearly $6 million last year after expenses, the Times reported.

The City says its all about safety but critics aren't convinced. According to the Times:

Critics say the fines have become excessive and mainly a means for camera companies and cities to raise money. But some police and traffic officials, as well as motorists, contend the penalties properly reflect the serious injuries, death and property damage that can result from drivers running red lights.

A new contract being considered by the city could eventually double the number of cameras at intersections to a total of 64. Driver beware.

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