Red-Light Cameras on Road Back to Council

The city's traffic cameras appear headed for a dead end as the full council prepares to discuss their future Wednesday


The debate rolls on over the future of LA's red-light camera program.

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After the city's Budget and Finance Committee voted 5-0 Monday to phase out the program, the Audits and Governmental Efficiency committee took up discussion Tuesday. The issue is scheduled to go to the full council Wednesday.

The last time the council considered the program
, members deadlocked over the program's future after a lengthy discussion involving safety and cost.

As for Monday's committee hearing, members recommended that the city stop issuing citations at the end of July and phase out the program. That's basically what the LA Police Commission recommended to the council in June.

Although the council did not over-ride the Police Commission's decision last month, council members agreed to send the issue to the Budget and Finance Committee.

Councilman Bernard Parks heads the committee. In June, Parks said he was in favor of renewing the camera contract on a month-to-month basis, but he voted in favor of phasing the program Monday out after "it  became clear that two important issues could not be resolved.''

Parks said he hoped the courts would change position on suspending car registrations for drivers who neglected to pay the fine for a red-light violation. He also said he hoped a state Senate bill would require county courts to enforce the tickets.

That bill was suspended.

"So now we have to seriously look at how do we phase it out at the minimal cost to the city,'' Parks said. 

At Monday's meeting, Police Commission executive director Richard Tefank that the tickets are part of a voluntary payment program. There are no consequences for drivers who fail to pay fines.

The city would stop issuing tickets generated by the cameras as of Sunday if the City Council passes the motion approved by the Budget and Finance  Committee. The contract would not officially end until a future date. 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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