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City Doubles Income on Red Light Cameras

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Over a two-year period, Los Angeles increased revenues from red light enforcement cameras from $200,000 to $400,000. The culprit? A recent doubling in fines for running red lights when making a right turn. The LA Times explains:

The change, based on a legal recommendation from the city attorney, affects thousands of motorists each year who make rolling right turns against red lights -- known as "California stops." According to Los Angeles Police Department estimates provided to The Times last year, about eight in 10 photo tickets were issued for right turns, which some experts say are less likely to result in serious accidents. Most California cities had long treated right-turn infractions the same as running straight through red lights. Before the change, Los Angeles issued rolling right-turn tickets under a vehicle code section with a much lower fine.

When Los Angeles brought its fines in line with those in other cities, right-turn ticket penalties increased from $156 to $381. The city's share of each ticket payment increased from $58 to nearly $150, where it remains today.

Former LAPD traffic officer and current City Councilman Dennis Zine is exploring ways to lower the fines.