Have a City of LA Red Light Camera Ticket? Relax! The LAPD Says They Will NOT Chase You Into Court

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Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

If you have an outstanding red light camera traffic ticket issued by the City of Los Angeles* listen up: The Los Angeles Police Department have finally declared they will not chase those drivers into court.

The Los Angeles Times reports that following the termination of the contract between the city's Police Commission and the company that operates the red light cameras, the LAPD says since they "will no longer have easy access to the photo and video evidence that courts require" they aren't going to waste resources taking those motorists with unpaid citations to court.

Existing red light cameras operated by the City of Los Angeles were shut off last summer, after a protracted debate about their practicality and ability to generate revenue. Additionally, their effectiveness in deterring red light intersection crossings has long been controversial.

The LAPD and the City had begun to tire of using precious resources to focus on chasing down violators in the Los Angeles County Court system. Now the LAPD say they are even going to reassign those officers who "regularly appeared in court to testify in contested photo enforcement cases," thereby moving even more resources away from the stale endeavor.

The City of Los Angeles stopped issuing red light camera tickets on July 31, and at that time, an estimated 65,000 tickets were unpaid. Currently, notes the Times, it's not clear how many tickets remain unpaid.

*We can't emphasize enough that at issue are red light camera tickets issued to motorists for violations in the City of Los Angeles. Other cities still operate red light camera programs, and, like the City of L.A., process cited motorists through the only court system we have, which is the L.A. County courts. If at any time you have received a red light camera ticket issued by any agency besides the City of Los Angeles (for example, Inglewood or West Hollywood, just to name a couple) the information in this article does NOT apply to you, and you should check with the issuing agency about the currency of their program. We get a lot of emails from readers who want to know if they have to pay their ticket; please understand we are not in a position to dispense legal advice!