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.
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.