Thursday, March 29, 2012

L.A.'s Red Light Cameras Are Gone (But Not Forgotten)

Fantastic news for those of you who thought you were going to have to choose between paying for your heart medicine this month and getting the traffic cops off your back! After going back and forth on their beleaguered red light camera system, the LAPD has finally declared that they will not pursue the 65,000+ drivers with unpaid red light camera tickets, most of which are in the neighborhood of $500 per violation. So if you're still holding an unpaid L.A. red light ticket, congratulations! Go treat yourself to an iPad!

The L.A. Times reported last year (after the last city cameras were turned off in July) that paying outstanding red light camera tickets was voluntary, but in a more recent L.A. Times article, court officials warned that "paying red light camera tickets is NOT voluntary and that there can be financial and legal consequences for those who fail to resolve their cases in court." I'm not a legal expert, but as I understand it, today's statement means that from hereon out, if you were to contest your red light camera ticket in court, it would most likely be dismissed due to not having a police officer present to enter evidence of a violation. The LAPD says they are going to reassign the officers who "regularly appeared in court to testify in contested photo enforcement cases".

The one important thing to note here is that the red light cameras were only turned off in the city of Los Angeles, which means that you can still get red light camera tickets in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Culver City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Torrance, etc. Use this handy map found HERE, which shows you all of the red light cameras in the greater Los Angeles area, to help you avoid those still-costly, still-being-issued tickets. Another sure fire way to avoid a red light camera ticket is to stop at a red light, but hey, I'm not here to judge.

This post was originally written by me for Guest of a Guest Los Angeles.  [All photos via]

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