Red-Light Violations Ignored
The Orange County Register, in a report by Jennifer Muir today, tells us that the red-light camera program as currently administered in Orange County, is an abysmal failure, with thousands of drivers who ignore the tickets having their cases dismissed while those who identified themselves faced hefty fines, driving school and possible increases in their insurance rates.
COSTA MESA LOSING BIG BUCKS
One segment jumped right off the page at me. Early in the report there is the following paragraph:
"Because of the failure to follow up, taxpayers in some cities are subsidizing the cost of the red light cameras. When the cost of paying the camera vendors is subtracted from ticket revenue, Costa Mesa appears to have lost more than $250,000 for the year ending October 2007; Laguna Woods appears to be short $22,000. And those numbers don't include the cost of city personnel."
Now, that really ticks me off!
A GOOD IDEA GONE ASTRAY
When this program was first launched I thought it was a good idea - a way to effectively cite those careless clowns among us who brazenly run red lights throughout our city. I recall thinking to myself that this is a great way to make folks much more aware of the dangers of running red lights and, hopefully, making our city a safer place in which to drive. Now we are told that, because it's too difficult to follow-up on these people, we just let them get away with it and - even more distressing - it's costing the city a quarter of a million bucks a year, to boot!
IT'S TIME FOR COUNCIL ACTION
This issue has been discussed by the Costa Mesa City Council in the past and it's time to address it again. If the scofflaws are simply thumbing their noses - or using another digit to express their disregard for the law - we need to address this issue. If the darn lights are actually costing us money maybe we should just cut our losses and get rid of them. If we don't, we'd sure better find a way to make the system work.
READ IT AND WEEP
The entire article can be found HERE. You may have to register with The Register to read it.