The Corona City Council will consider reining in its red-light robots to cut the cost of the $446 fine at its meeting on Wednesday.
Mayor Steve Nolan told City Council members a bartender at his restaurant got a ticket that dwarfed her paycheck and he was concerned that the fines were too high.
"It just started eating at me -- what that amount of money would do to a family," Nolan told the Press-Enterprise.
As it is, the tickets are issued under the state vehicle code, and county and state fees add significantly to the fine. But Corona officials are considering following the lead of the city of Roseville, near Sacramento, where some tickets are issued under the city's vehicle code.
If the tickets were issued by the city, the fines would not only be less: Drivers caught running red lights likely would not be dinged on their driving records, and their insurance rate would be unaffected. The city, however, would have to absorb the administrative costs of issuing the tickets and collecting fines.
Nolan wants to cut the $446 fine for a first-time violation in half at least. Many of the automated tickets are issued for drivers who don't come to stop before taking a right on red, he said.
City Councilman Eugene Montanez questioned the legality of Nolan's proposal, as did San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman, who noted that state law typically trumps municipal ordinances.
Corona started issuing red-light camera tickets in May at four intersections, issuing 6,528 to date, police spokesman Jerry Pawluczenko told the Press-Enterprise. Revenue figures for the city were unavailable.
Roseville started handling some of its traffic citations six months ago to generate more money for the city by keeping all of the revenue generated by certain violations, instead of sharing it with the county and state. But the move did not apply it to their red-light camera violations. Officials there said it appears the law would allow for it.