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City Council Likely to Approve Contract with Arizona-Based Company for Red Light Cameras

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There may be a boycott on doing business with Arizona, but the L.A. City Council appears posted to likely approve a 10-month contract extension with a company located there for enforcement of intersections with red light cameras, according to the LA Times.

The issue slated for Tuesday's City Council meeting (.pdf) puts two controversial items on one plate. Police and lawmakers see the safety benefit in the red light cameras at 32 intersections throughout Los Angeles, even if the city loses money on them, and some want to see the program expanded. At the same time, the company currently contracted to run the cameras, American Traffic Solutions, is based in Arizona and is one of the top red light camera businesses in the country.

And while the City Council would like to open up the bidding process to other companies next year, the other top industry player is Redflex Traffic Systems -- also an Arizona-based company.

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Los Angeles' boycott of the state over its controversial immigration bill is not all that strict. It directed city departments to "refrain from entering into any new or amended contracts to purchase goods or services from any company that is headquartered in Arizona."

Co-author of the boycott Councilmember Ed Reyes told the Times he'll vote for the exemption, as to not put residents at a public safety risk. But he vowed to press for alternatives to Arizona-based companies when the bidding for a new contract begins next year. One of his ideas: lure a company to based itself in Los Angeles, thus creating new jobs.

Last week, plans to send four LAPD employees to a conference in Arizona was nixed.