Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

L.A. wants to double red-light camera program: safety measure or revenue generator?

February 3, 2010 |  7:33 am

Red light camerahttp://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a7ff41ff970b-pi They've raised the price of parking tickets. They've added fees for moving violations. They've jacked up the price of "fix-it" tickets.

Now officials might have found another way to generate revenues from naughty drivers.

Los Angeles is considering a major expansion of its red-light traffic camera program, which officials report netted more than $6 million last year after expenses. The number of intersections covered by the cameras could eventually double in L.A. to 64, The Times' Rich Connell reported today.

While adding more cameras could offer a welcome boost to city revenue in the midst of a fiscal crisis, officials say any expansion will be based on safety considerations. Complaints from some drivers have grown louder as red-light ticket fines have climbed sharply in recent years. They now total more than $500 in Los Angeles County when traffic school fees are included. But LAPD officials and some experts say photo enforcement reduces potentially serious red-light-running accidents, changes driver behavior for the better and frees up patrol officers for other tasks.

What do you think? Should the red-light camera program expand? Share your thoughts below.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Marc Martin / Los Angeles Times