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5/24/2006
California: More Erroneous Red Light Camera Tickets in Capitola
Capitola, California issued nearly $10,000 in bogus red light camera tickets. Nearby cities looking to install cameras for revenue.

Capitola, CA
The city of Capitola, California admits that it issued at least $9525 in bogus red light camera citations this month. The Santa Cruz Superior Court notified the police that their failure to review citations issued by red light camera vendor ATS allowed 25 duplicate citations, each worth $381, to be issued.

"With a new program there's a lot of trial and error," Capitola Police Chief Richard Ehle told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The cameras have been issuing tickets since November 2005.

This was not the first time the city has allowed improper citations. In January, the city had allowed 134 citations worth $51,054 to be issued despite the lack of required information on the ticket. In December, an ambulance driver had to go to court to have a ticket reversed even though the photograph clearly showed his emergency lights were active.

Other cities in Santa Cruz County are now exploring the possibility of using photo enforcement. Superior Court Assistant Executive Officer Roy Blaine explained to the Sentinel that these cities are looking to expand their budgets with cameras.

"I'm sure every city in the county is watching very closely to see what Capitola is doing and to see how it does," Blaine said. "They're looking for the revenue, too."

Source: Red-light camera program hits bumps in its first year (Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA), 5/24/2006)

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