A Victorville resident has launched a battle against his city’s red light cameras.
Those cameras were banned in Los Angeles and several other cities, but they are still clicking away in the high desert and Mike Curran has decided they should be thrown out.
Curran received a traffic ticket from the company that operates the cameras, which are installed at 10 intersections.
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The infraction carried a $490 fine and when Curran inspected the ticket he found that it was issued by an out-of-state company with no imput from Victorville police officers.
"I started looking at it and it came from Victorville," he said. "Why is a foreign area coming into our area to give us tickets?"
Curran launched a class action lawsuit on the grounds that Victorville cannot hire a private company to do police work.
The cameras' owner, the Redflex Group, is headquartered in Phoenix. The company spent more than $146,000 installing the Victorville cameras and it made its money by issuing the tickets.
"They can take pictures; that’s fine," said Robert Conaway, Curran's lawyer. "But no officer is seeing this as it actually happens."
In California, sworn peace officers can write tickets for violations they see.
Curran’s lawsuit contends the photo ticket evidence is flawed from the start, Conaway said.
"This one’s talking about training people who are law enforcement officers to come into court to obtain convictions when they know the evidence is admissible," he said.
Curran said he wants more police officers on patrol – not cameras.
"It is better for the whole community that we have police," Curran said, adding that photographs and videos cannot be cross examined – which it his right at trial.
Victorville officials said a police officer reviews all photo tickets before they are sent.