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Governor wants to catch speeders with red-light cameras to help balance budget

January 8, 2010 |  2:11 pm

California drivers could get stuck with speeding tickets even with nary a cop in sight under a proposal tucked deep in the budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled today.

The Republican governor wants to let cities and counties install speed sensors in red-light cameras to ticket speeding drivers. Those whizzing by the detectors up to 15 mph above the limit would have to fork over $225 per violation. Those going faster than that would pay $325 under the plan.

Red-light cameras already exist in communities across the Southland, from Beverly Hills to Yucaipa. The governor wants to install speed detectors in 500 of those cameras, which would nab an estimated 2.4 million speeding violators per year, according to the finance department estimates.

That would net cash-strapped California about $337.9 million through June 2011. Every year after that, the program would generate nearly half a billion dollars, the finance department says. Local governments would get a cut of the proceeds.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento