Red light traffic cameras can be a real pain in the butt. The fines can be outrageous, the points lead to higher insurance rates and the programs can even take hard-working police officers off the streets. But what happens if you simply throw the ticket in the trash? In Los Angeles County, the answer seems to be a whole lot of nothing.

The Newspaper reports that red light camera revenue is down by one third after LA Police Commissioner Alan Skoban called the cameras "a voluntary citation program" back on June 7. The cameras have already been shut down in Los Angeles, but surrounding cities are losing boat-loads of dough. Since that June announcement, photo enforcement vendors are reportedly losing $1 million per month.

Still, while red light camera tickets are down, they're certainly not out. Drivers still paid 25,693 tickets at nearly $500 a pop from May through September. That's nearly $30 million over the course of a full year, which gets split between municipalities and the traffic camera system companies.

We're not sure what is more noteworthy – red light cameras that dole out $500 tickets, or ticked motorists that continue to pay outrageous fines even though the program is "voluntary." It appears the moral fiber of this country is still high... or not enough motorists know that the tickets don't have to be paid.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      Joshua Arnette
      • 3 Years Ago
      "$30 million over the course of a full year, which gets split between municipalities and the traffic camera system companies." Why are the monies that should be going to the police and roads going to a private company? That's bs. Overall these things are a scam, they are nothing but an income generating scheme. Not to mention the number of people that slam on their brakes on yellow now where they are installed.
        breakfastburrito
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joshua Arnette
        Welcome to the corporatocracy bub. Your freedoms are a privilege, not a right.
        Joe Bo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joshua Arnette
        I'd say 25-50% of the stoplight cameras in the DFW area have the yellow/amber time cut to half what it normally is. At those particular intersections it's not always possible to stop in time and it will turn red when you are half way through the intersection. However when that has happened to me, I have not received a ticket.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Am I missing something? Why would you ever pay a voluntary citation? Assuming there's absolutely no penalty for not paying it...
        kcroc10077
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        I'm guessing most people don't know their voluntary and I'm sure there's nothing on the citation to indicate as much.
        - v o c t u s -
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        we're dealing with people who run red lights here. not exactly the cream of the crop
          MONTEGOD7SS
          • 3 Years Ago
          @- v o c t u s -
          What about speeders, or tail-gating, or improper lane changes, or failure to yield? Are you wanting cameras to monitor all of that, and just forget that whole Constitution thing? Europe is in need of more like-minded people like you, I suggest you move there.
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 3 Years Ago
          @- v o c t u s -
          Cynical much? It must be nice to be perfect, and have never run a red light, or broken a rule, or law of any kind. Funny, because I have talked to cops who have said that it is literally impossible for anyone to drive more than a minute without violating a traffic law of some sort, whether it be going a mile over the speed limit, following too closely, forgetting to signal, unbuckling your seatbelt as you pull onto your street, driving slightly over the legal limit, etc etc. It must be nice the elite group of 0.000000000001 percent that can call himself "cream of the crop". You might want to notify DOT because they might have a metal/plaque with your name on it ready to present to you!! LOL
      Rudukai13
      • 3 Years Ago
      90% of the people who paid probably only did so because they thought it wasn't optional. The number of people who pay will continue to drop as word gets spread around that they don't have to. Especially at that retardedly high fine.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good for them. They should get rid of those cameras all together. There's simply too many holes in the practice. As a result, they are more effective at wasting tax payer money than solving any traffic problems.
      Sorten Borten
      • 3 Years Ago
      This has been true for red light cameras and speeding cameras since the day the first one went live. Considering the fact that you've never signed an agreement to appear in court and the court has no proof that you've ever been served a ticket, there's nothing compelling you to show up or send in the fine payment. My hometown newspaper ran an article on this very topic ... back in the 1990's :-)
        Leather Bear
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sorten Borten
        Exactly what I tried to advise the last time a red light camera article was posted, and I got downranked by those clueless as to how the California Motor Vehicle Code addresses this (YMMV in other states). In CA, you can't be convicted of a traffic infraction unless you either appear in court to defend yourself or post (and forfeit) the appropriate bail. When a flesh and blood officer issues you a citation, your signature is your promise to appear in court. There is no such agreement from a camera-issued ticket (which is why they're now considered "voluntary"). The only way for the authorities to get around this is by having a marshal personally serve you with the photo citation instead of mailing it to you, and that is not going to net them any profit. So I reiterate, (in California) if you get a camera-issued citation, do NOT dispute it, do NOT go online to check it, just THROW IT AWAY! The chances of a followup from the gendarmes is beyond minuscule.
      DrPhil Gandini
      • 3 Years Ago
      A study was done by the University of New Mexico on red light cameras in Albuquerque, and there is evidence that accidents are greater at intersections controlled by red lights. There is also a greater number of rear-end collisions as people slam on their brakes to avoid entering the intersection under orange or red. The obvious solution, which Albuquerque is now investigating, is to extend the orange light duration and to improve timing of the lights. Running red lights is dangerous, but so is slamming on your brakes to avoid a red light camera shot.
        DrPhil Gandini
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DrPhil Gandini
        I meant "controlled by red light cameras" of course. LOL
        John Doe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DrPhil Gandini
        Apparently, Florida has it in mind to reduce the time on yellow. But, it's all about safety!
      Radwon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmmm voluntarily pay the $500 ticket AND get points AND pay higher insurance premiums when you do? Now there's a hard one. I don't mind red light cameras as long as they are not treated as way to put the state back in the black with massive fines. I feel they do reduce accidents. I live in Australia and it's the speed cameras that piss me off. You spend so much time looking down at your speedo that you're sure to rear end someone or take a pedestrian out And then you have the guy hitting the anchors when he sees the camera nearly jamming everyone up. All at the expense of traffic flow and common sense.
      ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      You dont have to pay the ticket because an police officer dosnt serve you with ticket. thats what i heard.
      q3a7vodk4
      • 3 Years Ago
      And 2/3rds pay because they don't know it's voluntary.
      Andrew Steenbuck
      • 3 Years Ago
      Am I the only one annoyed by them using the phrase "losing $1 million a month?" They're not losing anything... Pisses me off the same when politicians talk about decreases in tax revenue like it's a decrease in profits...
      MaxStolfe
      • 3 Years Ago
      i was one of the people who didn't know they had to be paid -__- so this was incredibly insightful, and sad that people like me "voluntarily give these guys money without them really even doing anything.
      Anon
      • 3 Years Ago
      its voluntary in LA only, correct? $500 AND you get points...thats egregious. in NYC i dont think its voluntary. but the ticket is only $50 and you DONT get points on your license.
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