*More indecision from City Council over red-light cameras

They're pretty much at an impasse over whether to continue the program. From the LAT:

The drama began when Councilman Tony Cardenas, looking to keep the camera program alive, asked his colleagues to postpone a decision on the matter until late July 26 -- five days before the program is slated to die. That motion passed on an 8-6 vote. But then Councilman Greig Smith said he had voted the wrong way and meant to vote no. The council's voting machines are programmed to vote "yes" automatically unless members specifically register that they are opposed to a motion. "I wasn't paying attention," Smith explained afterward. "Honestly, it went so fast. I was like, Wait, wait.'" Under the council's rules, Smith was allowed to seek a reconsideration of the issue. Cardenas' proposal then failed on a 7-7 vote. (Eight votes, or a majority, are needed for a proposal to be approved.)

I'm at a loss about certain aspects of the program, such as the authorities not being able to collect fines or place holds on driver's licenses and registrations. Seems as if the issue is more implementation than effectiveness - the cops cite a 62 percent drop in red-light-related collisions at the intersections with cameras, compared with a 22 percent drop citywide. And half the council wants them removed? Leave it to the city to botch an idea that can save lives and generate revenues.

*KNX's Claudia Pescuitta tweets:

[Council member Dennis] Zine says if he got a red-light camera ticket he would not pay it "because there are no consequences."


**And still more, from the Daily News:

The Police Commission had recommended ending the program because of questions over its enforceability - many courts were throwing out the $446 tickets - as well as over its effectiveness in improving safety and its cost. Mary Hearn, spokeswoman for Los Angeles Superior Court, said it is the court's policy not to put a DMV hold on people caught by the cameras. "We do not choose to put a DMV hold since we have found that many of the tickets are issued to a vehicle and the owner is not the driver," Hearn said. "We're concerned about punishing someone who is not the driver and, it could be, they will not know about the hold for three, four or five years when they renew their drivers license."

Your government at work. Ugh.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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