The City Council voted Tuesday 7-5 to let the contract with the company that operates the 32 cameras within the city to expire on July 31. But the council lacked the majority eight votes to drop the program so the issue is expected to go before the City Council Wednesday.
“Give us a little time to look at technology. The system needs to be corrected, there’s no question,” Councilman Tom Labonge said.
The Police Commission already decided to let the contract expire at the end of July but not all council members agreed.
Council members Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks cosponsored a motion to extend the program for a year so more studies could be done.
“Fatal collisions tend to take innocent lives,” Cardenas said.
Opponents say state law keeps the city from effectively collecting fines from violators and that there was no evidence that the cameras improved safety.
The controversy over red light cameras began in 2009 when CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein found there was no evidence that the cameras reduced crashes, deaths or injuries.
In fact, those numbers were found to increase at some intersections. City Controller Wendy Greuel also says the city was losing more than $1 million a year for the cameras.
If caught running a red light on camera, drivers currently face a $446 citation.