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Red-light camera tickets? You can ignore them, L.A. officials say

July 26, 2011 |  8:04 am

Redlightcamera Good news for motorists slapped with red-light tickets in Los Angeles. If you got the citation under the city's controversial camera program, you can ignore your ticket.

You read that right.

After a three-hour City Council committee hearing Monday on the future of the much-debated photo enforcement system, the session ended with a recommendation to stop issuing citations at the end of the month and "phase out" the program.

The tickets are part of a "voluntary payment program" without sanctions for those who fail to submit fines, said Richard M. Tefank, executive director of the city's Board of Police Commissioners.

"The consequence is somebody calling you from one of these collection agencies and saying 'pay up.' And that's it," said committee member and Councilman Bill Rosendahl. "There's no real penalty in terms of your driver's license or any other consequences if you don't pay."

The five-member committee recommended that the full City Council endorse an earlier decision by the Los Angeles Police Commission to terminate the camera program at the end of the month.

Whether the full City Council will go along with the recommendation remains unclear. The City Council previously deadlocked over the fate of the program after the Police Commission voted to kill the program in June. If the council accepts the recommendation of the budget committee, the last camera-issued ticket in Los Angeles would be generated July 31.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: A red-light camera at La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

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