3/25/2014Santa Ana, California Dumps Red Light Cameras
Red light camera companies continue to lose ground in California as the second largest city in Orange County votes to drop automated ticketing.
Another California city moved to eliminate the use of red light cameras. A unanimous Santa Ana City Council decided last week to stop doing business with Redflex Traffic Systems based on a staff proposalthat would end photo ticketing once the Redflex contract expires on June 21, 2015.
"It is staff's recommendation that the city not exercise the options [for contract renewal] at the conclusion of the contract in 2015 for the following reasons," wrote city finance director Francisco Gutierrez. "Automated red light camera system revenues have had a minimal impact, of red light activations only 50 percent are submitted to the court and legislative changes threaten the sustainability of automated red light camera systems."
Councilman Vincent Sarmiento offered the resolution to end use of cameras citing the "excessive fine" of $490 that the embattled Australian firm issued last year to 30,099 in the city. Out of the $14,748,510 worth of tickets mailed, the city's cut was $2,541,745.
After Redflex was caught in a $2 million bribery scandal in Chicago, Illinois and elsewhere in the country, a number of localities have developed second thoughts about doing business with Redflex. The company referred to the mounting loss of business as the "contagion effect" from the scandal. Even before the bribery was revealed, Orange County residents have not looked kindly on the use of automated ticketing machines. Anaheim saw 73 percent of voters choose to ban red light cameras in 2010. Newport Beach voters banned them in 2012. Picking up on this trend, the city councils in Laguna Nigel and Orange also voted to prohibit their use. That leaves Laguna Woods, Los Alamitos and Garden Grove as the only remaining camera cities in the county.
Throughout California, nearly sixty cities have dropped their red light camera programs, including Belmont, Bell Gardens, Berkeley, Burlingame, Compton, Corona, Costa Mesa, Cupertino, El Cajon, El Monte, Escondido, Emeryville, Fairfield, Fresno, Fullerton, Gardena, Glendale, Grand Terrace, Hayward, Indian Wells, Irvine, Lancaster, Loma Linda, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Maywood, Montclair, Moreno Valley, Paramount, Pasadena, Poway, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Redwood City, Rocklin, Roseville, Rowland Heights, San Carlos, San Diego, San Jose (photo radar), San Juan Capistrano, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa,South Gate, Union City, Upland, Whittier, Yuba City andYucaipa. Residents of Anaheim, Murrieta and Newport Beach voted to ban red light cameras.