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 |  Jul 28 2011, 8:30 PM

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to remove its controversial red light cameras, citing difficulties in enforcing them.

According to the photo-enforcement law, paying its tickets was merely “voluntary,” which is an excuse that might not work for your next school-zone speeding ticket. Only 60% of tickets issued were actually paid. Naturally, accusations of revenue generation rather than safety were raised, for reasons that weren’t entirely unfounded.

The cameras were allegedly installed at intersections more suited to raising money rather than improving safety. The council issued a boycott of Arizona businesses in 2010 as a protest against that state’s immigration laws, but allowed Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions to continue operating cameras in LA. The cameras came under fire only when city accountants found that the cameras were generating far less than they should for the city—and in fact cost over $1 million to keep the program running.

The final nail in the red-light coffin was when the LA Superior Court found issue with giving out citations, as they were mailed to the vehicle’s owner rather than the one actually driving the vehicle at the time.

Currently, there are 32 red-light cameras in the whole of Los Angeles. The future of these is uncertain, but for drivers in Los Angeles County, there’s one less excuse for a traffic ticket.

[Source: New York Times]

 |  Feb 04 2011, 3:06 PM

You may hate to get those annoying tickets in the mail, but the stats are in – red light cameras help save lives in the big cities around the U.S.

According to a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), red light cameras have saved 159 lives from 2004 to 2008 in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities. The IIHS goes on to say that 815 deaths would have been prevented if the cameras had been in place during that period in all large cities in the country.

“The cities that have the courage to use red light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives,” says IIHS president Adrian Lund.

The IIHS came up with their findings after examining 99 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000. They compared those with red light camera programs to those without. The researchers compared two periods – 2004-08 and 1992-96 – so they could see how the rate of fatal crashes changed after the introduction of cameras.

In their findings, the IIHS concluded that in the 14 cities that had cameras during 2004-08, the combined per capita rate of fatal red light running crashes fell 35 percent, compared with 1992-96. The rate of fatal red light running crashes also fell in the 48 cities without camera programs in either period, but only by 14 percent.