Red Light Camera Reality

It seems the cost of bail for a traffic violation in Los Angeles has gone from a reasonable penalty, to what could now be considered as, frankly, a financial beating! Red light camera tickets are notorious for their mail delivered shock value, topping off at upwards of $500. I wasn’t angry, more like beside myself with disbelief the day I got my Prius’ portrait in the mail. “I guess I remember a random flash that one time…”, despite being infamously known for my over-cautiousness with yellows. I was making a right turn on my way home on an uninhabited night and pulled, what I’ve fondly heard coined as, a “California roll”. In case you wondered, these incomplete stops are worth roughly $500, and these fines have become a considerable source of revenue for the city. But when does it turn from public safety to an unjust burden on the average citizen? As an 18-year-old college student tagged on what I’d argue, a technicality, this hurt. Even if one was to write off unreasonable ticket costs and outside help to keeping a grip on the sprawling population of Los Angeles, here is where I really see this program beginning to lose credibility. In 2010, the Los Angeles City Council voted red light cameras out due to their not effectively improving public safety, but the city continues to pursue past violators. Trust me, my decision to ignore the fine and put this idea to the test wasn’t easy. They’d made the call to remove my corner’s pest in the coming weeks, but I couldn’t afford the risk of an even steeper fine… What a mess. Despite the removal of several red light cameras a few years back, the reality is they still exist, so better be safe than sorry!

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