RED LIGHT CAMERAS
you haven't already done so, please read the LA
County section on the Camera Towns page
LA County Documents
County Docs Set # 1 (ticket counts)
is at LA
County, Main Page
The cameras operated by the County closed in
Docs Set # 2
The info in Set # 2 is applicable throughout LA County. But only in LA County.
The LA County Superior Court Does Not Report Ignored Red Light Camera Tickets to the DMV!!!
(This applies to red light camera tickets issued by all cities in LA County, and the MTA, not just the City of Los Angeles.)
From the testimony of a LAPD deputy chief, during the June 7, 2011 meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission:
"There's no consequence for not
paying the ticket on a photo red light [in LA County].
"So there's no consequence [in
If you contact the court (or
its website) and sign up for an extension, you are
acknowledging that you received the ticket. If
you then decide to do nothing further about the ticket
and so do not take care of it by the extended due
date, it is possible that the court could report you
to the DMV. I do not know for sure. Press
releases and articles are provided below so that you
can decide for yourself.
Press Releases and Articles
In early August 2011, Mary
Hearn, Director of Public Information for the LA
County Superior Court, provided the following
statement in response to questions from a reporter:
"Vehicle Code section
40509(c)(1) allows, but does not require, the Court
to send notice to the DMV of any person who fails to
appear in response to a notice subsequent to a
traffic violation captured by an automated traffic
enforcement system (i.e., red light camera system).
The DMV is subsequently authorized to place a hold
on the accused offenderís license, forcing the
person to resolve the ticket prior to renewing his
or her license.
"The Court supports a
collections effort whose results and efficiency are
a model for the California courts.
However, that collections policy has, for many
years, not included the proposed notification to
DMV. In creating and administering this collections
effort, the Courtís policies are informed both by
the need to follow through on the fines issued, and
by the need to do so in a fair and just manner.
"In the case of red-light camera
enforcement, experience suggests that issuing a
driverís license hold on the basis of a red-light
enforcement ticket could result in an unfair result
where the owner of the vehicle is denied the ability
to renew his or her license, even though that person
was not the driver of the vehicle at the time the
camera captured a person going through a red light.
"A failure to appear on a
red-light traffic citation per notification from the
Court results in penalties in addition to the
original fine and the matter will be referred to a
collection agency if not resolved in the time
allotted to do so.
"Questions related to credit
scores and insurance premiums should be directed to
In early September 2011, Ms.
Hearn provided the following statement to a reporter
who was writing
about the collection process:
"We are not aware of any judicial officer ordering or authorizing GC Services to garnish wages or other income, attaching bank accounts, or filing liens.
judicial officers must balance their responsibility
for enforcing the law with their responsibility to
protect the public from abuse of those laws."
2013 online comment found on the Sep. 8, 2011 LA
Weekly article. Highwayrobbery.net does not know
if the writer is telling the truth (for
example: La Habra has no red light cameras, and
is not all that close to Covina, which does), but just
to be safe we suggest that if you plan to apply for
citizenship and you have received a real red
light camera ticket from a city in LA County, or from
the MTA, check with your immigration advisor before
ignoring that ticket.
ďMore and more people are figuring out that they will not be punished if they refuse to pay the violation fine, let alone have to show up in court at all." "Because the driver who was caught by a camera running a red light did not sign anything promising to appear in court, we have no legal recourse to issue a warrant for their arrest. The citation then gets handed over to a collection agency, but even then after they mail a couple letters and make a couple annoying phone calls, they cannot force the violator to pay the fine.Ē
On Mar. 28, 2012 another LA Weekly article provided important details about ignoring tickets from cities in LA County, including this:
If you end up in traffic court for some other violation, and the judge asks you about that red-light skeleton in your closet, the same ignore-at-all-costs rule applies. "If you then acknowledge, 'I thought those were being dismissed,' you are now under the jurisdiction of the court," says [Attorney Sherman] Ellison.
Here is the proper response from a motorist:
New caption by highwayrobbery.net.
The French comic book illustration by Dzack & Gaby is at http://destasdeblagues.d.e.pic.centerblog.net/16124dd0.jpg and a version in English is at http://imgur.com/gallery/fZ6QR
As of Feb. 5, 2013 the Mar. 2012 article had 50 comments.
This graph covers May 2010 to Mar. 2013. The low point was Aug. 2011. For the very latest graph, click on Revenue Spreadsheet, below.
was off by about half.
Some cities responded
by issuing more tickets. The LA County cities of Baldwin
Park, Commerce, Covina, Culver City, Hawthorne,
Lynwood, Santa Clarita, South Gate, Walnut and West
Hollywood increased ticketing by 50% or more. By early 2012, revenue had
rebounded for many cities in the County.
To see the actual numbers, see this city-by-city and
Do You Pay, or Play?
Docs Set # 3
There may be some more information posted in the next few weeks. Mark your calendar to remind you to come back here and look!
RED LIGHT CAMERAS