Police Commission Votes Against Forwarding Red Light Camera Contract

The city's contract for its red light camera program hit a bump in the road Tuesday at an LA Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

The commission voted 5-0 against hiring a contractor to run the city's red light traffic cameras, effectively turning the cameras off at 32 intersections when the current contract expires at the end of July.

The City Council has until June 17 to overrule the commission's decision, which would require a two-thirds vote.

Councilman Greig Smith, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said he does not expect the council to overrule the board's vote.

``I opposed the red light program to begin with, so I will certainly not try to revive it,'' Smith said.

The cameras are designed to catch drivers on video if they run a red light. The fine for a red light violation captured by the system is $446.

“I saw something that was wrong, and I felt someone needed to do something about it,” said Jay Beeber, an activist with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council. 

For months, Beeber bombarded the police commission with studies that said the red light cameras did not improve safety as much as the LAPD said they did.

“Now they can focus on things that actually make us safer,” said Beeber.

Another factor in the police commission’s decision was the cost of the cameras.  An audit by the city controller’s office showed the cameras lost money for the city, despite the hundreds of tickets that were written.

“In our minds we could not justify recommending a contractor and a continued program that’s going to expand the deficit,” said commission president John Mack.

Related: About the Red Light Camera Program | Red Light Camera Mapping

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