LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — The civilian board that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department has put the brakes on the city’s red-light traffic camera program.

The Police Commission agreed Tuesday to reject a proposal from police officials to award a new contract to the company that has been operating the cameras.

An audit last year questioned the effectiveness of the program, finding that a majority of citations have gone uncollected. Commissioner Alan Skobin says that since the courts don’t pursue drivers who refuse to pay the tickets, the camera program lacks enforcement power.

The board’s decision could shut down the cameras in days unless the City Council decides to strip the commission of its authority on the issue and decide whether to continue the program.

The problems for red light cameras go back to 2009 when CBS2/KCAL9 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein found there is no evidence the cameras reduced accidents, deaths or injuries at the intersections where they were placed and in fact, found those numbers actually increased at some intersections.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (66)
  1. ART says:

    If the cameras come down then money will be taken directly from the city council’s pocket since most of the money goes into the pockets of the city council for their personal spending money. So the cameras will not come down.

    1. brainworms says:

      Oh, they won’t take the cameras down.

    2. Robert Tanguay says:


      Tickets are issued to create debt in which the city puts on its books to show as accounts receivables to attract bond holders.

      Problem is that they are spending even more money trying to collect on an noncollectable debt. I haven’t driven in over 3 years. Don’t want to as I am in fear of the gestapo getting me.

      1. TT says:

        @ Robert – ok i get it – so the reason they havent collected the bed tax from the Hotels and taxes from the parking companies, and others is to make the state govt and federal govt think they are in a deficit, because they didnt collect their own debts to begin with… when in actuality – if they made them pay their bills it could make it look like they dont need the money ? WOW what a complex web…..wouldnt wanna try to figure that one out….

  2. Mufon says:

    Thank goodness! Now the substance abusers, uninsured and unlicensed drivers, and the arrogant rich can run red lights again as they see fit, without the unsettling worry and inconvenience of being caught.

    1. pdid says:

      they have proven ineffective from a safety standpoint as well Mufon

    2. Robert Tanguay says:

      Ticket vending machines such as the red light cameras are destined to be abused.
      The police are never there when you need them, but when they have a fee to collect, they arrive early.

      1. Scott Ronpaul McDevitt II says:

        of course they will be abused…good greif…this gives them way to much power…unless you are in a private enterprise you should not be on camera

    3. G-Schafe says:

      The “arrogant rich”? Are you kidding me? You’re going to profile people who run red lights? I got news for you brother, everyone, whether rich or poor, substance abuser or sober, young or old, black or white all have the equal chance to run red lights. People don’t do it cause its fun! It’s normally an accident or an inability to stop in time, not cause they want to get a ticket or be a hard-ass! Quit being a pessimist and enjoy the little things, clown.

      1. bob says:

        Yeah, and quit pessing off arrogant, rich “clowns” like this guy!

    4. Jarax says:

      Didn’t you read the article? Did you not read the words that said the cameras were ineffective in reducing these instances?

      Don’t be someone who supports such fascistic actions willy-nilly.

    5. Ron says:

      ?????? And what if they got caught….. If you read the article NOTHING happens to them when they run red lights!!! There is no penalty, They know this therefore they will keep on running them.

    6. PowerPC says:

      The fines from the cameras were not being paid anyway so it seems like there is very little to fear for running the lights. If they were not going to prosecute why even bother with the cameras? People knew this so it had very little value as a deterrent. Things will just go on as normal…

    7. Chris says:

      It’s never good to concentrate on the exception. Laws are made for the majority. There will always be those who take advantage but the cameras do nothing but perpetuate the big brother image and cause disillusionment with government

  3. Sydbee says:

    Hey stupid a@@@es Collect when registations are due like you do when you want smog checks.

  4. Jeff says:

    The mayor is not going to be happy about losing his little “nest egg”.

  5. alan hart says:

    The council better not strip the commission of its power or we change the council

  6. Lisa says:

    It’s about time. I was rear ended once by an idiotic women in a brand new BMW who said “I saw you in front of me but I had to rear end you in order for the camera not to take my picture because I’m not eligible for traffic school and if I get one more point on my record DMV would have suspended my license because I already have too many points”. I should have demanded the video of this person crashing into me and it would have been all over the news.

  7. Robert Tanguay says:

    The whole Los Angeles court system is a joke, denying it’s “customers” (as it says at the GC Services counter)
    GC Services is a corporation based out of Texas that has a contract for all of the collections. I’ve been to court dozens of times to fight a red light ticket, fare evasion ticket (I won), and was denied a trial for a .09 DUI.
    CBS – Please contact me and do a story, nobody s paying the tickets, yet the city keeps wasting OUR money with their innefective Police/courtroom racket.

    1. Robert Tanguay says:

      “denying it’s “customers” (as it says at the GC Services counter)” * justice.

  8. Hank Warren says:

    Red Light cameras, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    1. Survival says:

      Hank, as a 32+ year police vet, I am with you 100%! California (not to mention the nation) has more feel good laws and regulations made just to fill the pockets of political feel good programs and all with our hard earned money! Every constitutional point you make is right on point!!

  9. Tom Dee says:

    I think everyone understands that the camera are a form of stealing. Other than people with vested interest no one has come forward and made a case that the cameras do any good. IT is and alway has been a method to shake down the public. It just eliminate the cop writing the ticket so it become a faceless mugger.

  10. Joe Kliplinger says:

    That indirectly proves that redlight camera is all about money and NOT safety. These redlights cameras just don’t earn the city any money. If it is truly about safety, they would invest money to keep the program alive, just like keeping the LAPD, LAFD staff to fight crime. I hope other cities do the same.

  11. ovid says:

    i hate when i get a ticket from a rude officer but after winning for a while let the reality set in ..the beginning of wisdom is fear ,it is not all that bad and law enforcement has to be kept in check

  12. A. Levy says:

    L.A.’s redlight cameras, like NYC’s cameras, were never meant to reduce the number of accidents or make the roads safer. They were intended to generate revenue. Period.

    1. ES says:

      Exactly one of the reasons why they are illegal in MASS.

  13. Joe America says:

    these were supposed to be cash cows… not sink holes. Another liberal idea goes bust.

  14. Corrupt Wasteful Spending says:

    Follow the money!!! Who supplied the equipment? Who engineered the installation? Who installed and maintained the cameras? Who did the programming? This was basically a project that was meant to line someone’s pockets. Louisiana installed this same type system, and decommissioned it soon thereafter. Nothing but corrupt, wasteful spending. Follow the money!!!

  15. CorporateMediaIsADangerousCult says:

    Dear Los Angeles you want money for cops, fire, etc. You better turn OFF CBS, who blacklists the topic of CAFR. This is where the money is hiding. All these fake democrats and republicans in this two party charade are a complete fascist authority who have replaced the US Constitution with the Patriot Act, they sit around and pump cbs with bla bla cut this austerity that, and claim everything is on the table, Well it’s up you the citizen to slap a copy of CAFR on the table, because everything is not on the table, CBS won’t talk about it — because they GET CAFR money!

  16. Follow the Money says:

    We have many of them up here in the high desert in Lancaster. Mayor R. Rex Parris loves his little money making machines, he stated so at a council meeting I attended. He claims it makes the intersections safe. Two things I believe they do in opposite of the Mayors stance. They make drivers actually speed up before reaching the intersections to avoid going through when its yellow and it causes drivers to slam on their brakes before reaching the intersections as it turns yellow. Rear end collisions are more likely to occur when the person in front of you is afraid to go through on a yellow and hits the brakes leaving you to have to do the same. These cameras provide no additional safety to drivers. Just a cheap way to collect money from the citizens. Always follow the money. As the saying goes, money talks.

    1. Robert Gettinger says:

      Funny how big lawyers become Mayors? There should be laws about such conflict of interest. Another thing about lawyers, they get paid to lie. I agree with you, the truth is they offer no increase in safety. Its all hype and propaganda bases on companies who by the way (Get 50% of the fines) for supplying the cameras. As citizens and tax payers we need to STOP the con jobs and expose them. Please join Face Book, its free and there’s a buzz going on. American’s want the real story, share yours.

  17. BlownfuelCoupe says:

    This is just another example of “Trickle Down” Lawlessness.

    Blame Washington.

  18. Seared says:

    It’s simple: If they were making money with the cameras, the cameras would stay. The cameras are COSTING them money, so they have to go. I predict they will shortly begin writing MORE tickets than the cameras wrote. The City has already been busted for writing tickets strictly for revenue. The Mayor has to pay for his luxuries somehow. This city has contempt for its citizens, so there is no point in thinking this was done because citiens want it done. And BTW, if you were rich before you went thropugh the light, you won’t be rich afterward: the ticket itself is $300, but when you add the taxes to it it will be $500 to clear it.

    1. TT says:

      No Dear – might be that cheap in LA -In Newhall its posted – 435.00 for Red light violation – i dont think that includes court costs…. I cant tell you how many times i have stepped hard on my breaks (well within the speed limit or lower)thru that intersection because the light turned yellow 1 ft before where you stop (and yes im exagerating a little)….But I was traveling that road on a daily basis there for a while – because my adult daughter was sick, that happened to me a few times…. Those things are a hazard !!! It didnt happen because i was a bad driver and didnt want to obey the law, it happened because i cant afford a ticket… and if it was a person making that judgement call – well thats alot different than a machine that only records what it wants to….

  19. Reason says:

    This is great news! I was getting tired of stopping for red lights. Now I don’t have to! Thanks, LA!

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  20. mg says:

    Send reporter Goldstein to Nassau County, Long Island, New York where they are now turning over red light camera uncollected ticket scofflaws to collection agencies which could wind up appearing on credit reports which could ruin peoples credit.

  21. robertg says:

    “is no evidence the cameras reduced accidents, deaths or injuries”

    Well daa. Who doesn’t know that. They are meant to generate revenue that’s all they do. Anybody that ever really believed that they would help safety is a fool.

  22. adam kilauea says:

    If extra revenue were not produced by the cameras, there would be no cameras.

  23. jack says:

    the reason they are doing away with cameras is that they have found that when cops write tickets they get more violators and more MONEY. I has nothing to do with public safety, the cameras are not generating the revenue that cops were, follow the money….If public safety were an issue with goverment they would ban cigarettes, not where people smoke them,,tax on cigarettes helps support these over paid politicians and programs

  24. SG says:

    Red light cameras are only intended as a source of revenue. The only study that even suggested that they save lives was conducted by a maker of red light cameras, and it did not include control intersections (intersections that have no camera, to compare results against those that do). During the time the study took place, fatalities decreased, overall, at ALL intersections, but the study focused only on the intersections with cameras, and claimed that it was due to the cameras. When revenue from a camera goes down, it is usually moved, which obviously defeats the purpose. IF the cameras were all working (as-in DECREASING red light violations) to perfection, then the cameras would produce very little revenue, and would have to be funded by tax money. In this hypothetical situation, the council would be HAPPY about paying out money to keep the cameras running, because the cameras would be a tool used to stop people from running lights. This is not the case, however. If cameras are not producing enough revenue, they are moved or disconnected.

  25. SB says:

    These guys are so addicted to Other People’s Money that there is no way Council will allow the traffic light program to expire. It’s all about fleecing the shepple and boy is California chock full of shepple!!

  26. red-listed says:

    To Corporatemedias post – Amen Brother. Thanks for bringing up CAFRS!

  27. david frost says:

    Thank you David Goldstein!

    Thank you Police Commission for seeing these outrageously priced fines for what they were!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now maybe we can get back to COPS enforcing red-light violations as it should be—-person to person.

    Exactly WHEN to the cameras come down? Does anyone know?

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  29. Nanny state go home says:

    Those people in those speed camera vans are not even police officers! Since when does a private company have the authority to have the same power as the police force.This should alarm people and wake them up. This whole program is BS and a abuse of our justice system. I drive slow and have not had a ticket since 1993 but have had several tickets with both red light cameras and speed cameras in just the last year alone. Most of the time it was late at night with out a car in sight and a wide open road with clear weather. Lets face it some speed limit signs are way below what they should be.

    1. TT says:

      same kind of thing hapeened to me – no tickets for a ridicuously long time then BAM – like in the last 5 month -2 …. Went to traffic school paid tickets and for traffic school (have to pay tickets in advance and then try to go back and try to get your money back, would have cost more to miss work than fight the ticket and maybe lose that too), in the mean time my insurance is going up until one clears then have still 1 i cant get off … So now hafta wait another 3 years to have a clean record again before they come off insurance. Its not just me – alot of people i know (and are safe drivers) are getting tickets as well, finding it a little excessive….

  30. Captm says:

    A 2011 Institute study comparing large cities with red light cameras to those without found the devices reduced the fatal red light running crash rate by 24 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 17 percent. (Hu, W.; McCartt, A.T. and Teoh, E.R. 2011. Effects of red light camera enforcement on fatal crashes in large US cities. Arlington, VA: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

    Previous research has shown that cameras substantially reduce red light violations and crashes. Studies by the Institute and others have found reductions ranging from 40 to 96 percent after the introduction of cameras. (Retting, R.A.; Williams, A.F.; Farmer, C.M.; and Feldman, A.F. 1999. Evaluation of red light camera enforcement in Fairfax, Va., USA. ITE Journal 69:30-34.)

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  31. Captm says:

    12:25pm on Friday, June 10, 2011

    Institute studies in Fairfax, Virginia, and Oxnard, California, found that in addition to the decrease in red light running at camera-equipped sites, the effect carried over to signalized intersections not equipped with red light cameras, indicating community-wide changes in driver behavior.

    In Oxnard, significant citywide crash reductions followed the introduction of red light cameras, and injury crashes at intersections with traffic signals were reduced by 29 percent. (Retting, R.A. and Kyrychenko, S.Y. 2002. Reductions in injury crashes associated with red light camera enforcement in Oxnard, California. American Journal of Public Health 92:1822-25)
    Front-into-side collisions – the crash type most closely associated with red light running – at these intersections declined by 32 percent overall, and front-into-side crashes involving injuries fell 68 percent.

    An Institute review of international red light camera studies concluded that cameras lower red light violations by 40-50 percent and reduce injury crashes by 25-30 percent. (Retting, R.A.; Ferguson, S.A.; and Hakkert, A.S. 2003. Effects of red light cameras on violations and crashes: a review of the international literature. Traffic Injury Prevention 4:17-23)

  32. tyler says:

    Hey peeps,

    Think about how these accidents are happening, how to get rid of this?? The answer is simple try to obey the LAW in order to get rid of this problem and to make accident free nation.

    Any Comments!!! Highly Welcome and Appreciated

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