You roll through a yellow light that just turned red, experience a flash of light on your face and, boom, you're hit with a $480 ticket in the mail.
Faster than you can say A day at Disneyland, you're out nearly $500.
Where does all the money go? We asked the kind folks at Los Angeles Superior Court. They delivered in spades. Here's the breakdown:
There are more hands in this cookie jar than politicians at a police union fundraiser. But if you add up all the contributions to the state, city and county, you have your biggest players.
- $245.78 makes the state and its various funds the biggest red-light camera glutton.
- $157.19, including two general fund contributions and a traffic fund contribution, approximately, goes to the city where the ticket was issued. (The city of Los Angeles is used as an example here, but City Hall abandoned the red-light cameras in 2011.)
- $77.03 goes to various county funds.
Individual cities often pay private companies to run the red-light camera gear via separate, fixed-rate contracts, so you won't see payments to these firms here.
The biggest individual chunks of cash for L.A. county red-light camera tickets include:
- $94.08 in city general fund money.
- $68.60 in "state penalty assessment" cash.
- $63.11 in city "traffic fund" contributions.
- $40 in state "security fees."
- $35 in state "conviction fees."
This will really get your blood boiling when you hear that Aaron Rosenberg, a former salesman for Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix, a red-light camera contractor in L.A. County, recently alleged in a lawsuit that the company ...
... bestowed gifts and bribes on ... officials in dozens of municipalities within but not limited to the following states: California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.
Always looking out for our interests, these politicians we elect.
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Anyway, the good news is that you can straight-up ignore red-light camera tickets issued by jurisdictions within L.A. County. The county court system is not going to come looking for you, so long as you don't make a court date to deal with said tickets.