City News

Today In WTF: If You Paid That $446 Red-Light Camera Ticket In L.A. You're Probably A Sucker, Because It Could Have Been Blown Off

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Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 7:08 AM

click to enlarge This red-light camera watches over suckers.
  • This red-light camera watches over suckers.
A doozy for the department of WTF this week: You know those annoying red-light cameras that flash of when you're taking a left through an intersection behind a grandma who's waiting to make sure everyone within a five mile radius has come to a stop before she scoots her Buick through traffic?

Yeah, those. Well, it turns out if you ignored any tickets you got you probably would have gotten away with it. That's right, if you paid the $446 (wow!) you were a sucker.

That bit of news came as the L.A. Police Commission this week endorsed the money-losing, driver-inflaming cameras anyway.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore reported that most of you who ignored the red-light tickets you got in the mail faced "absolutely no consequence" because L.A.'s court system hasn't been aggressively collecting the cash.

About 56,000 tickets mailed out since 2006 remain outstanding, he said. Drivers have been cut free because warrants were not issued and DMV drivers-license holds were not requested.

Way to save almost $500, folks.

The court system takes the matters to a collection agency and doesn't, apparently, pursue points on your license because it's possible that maybe you weren't driving the car when that flash went off. Fair enough, but aren't we all supposed to appear in court and work that part out?

Oh well.

The red-light cameras have lost L.A. $2.6 million and counting. And the company that runs them under contract for the city is based in Arizona, which L.A. was famously supposed to be boycotting as a result of the state's controversial immigration law.

Police say it's about safety, not money (or Arizona). Like when you pull down your visor, put on your shades and gun it through that red-light-camera-patrolled intersection. Safety.

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