RED LIGHT CAMERAS
you haven't already done so, please read the
Riverside section on the Camera Towns page
Riverside Documents - Program Closed
At the July 8, 2014 council
meeting they voted to close the program in
Do you live in LA County? Was Zev
Yaroslavsky your County Supervisor? (He
represented the Third District, which includes the
central and western San Fernando Valley, Malibu, Santa
Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, the City of West
Hollywood, and part of Hollywood.)
Zev "termed out," and in the Nov. 4,
2014 election Sheila Kuehl won the race to succeed him,
by a narrow margin.
Sheila "Kuehl Kams" Kuehl, in 2007
During her career in the California
Legislature, Kuehl made three attempts to pass bills to allow
the use of automated speed enforcement (photo radar) in
We need to watch Kuehl carefully, because as a Supervisor she will have a seat on the MTA/Metro board and she will be a vote to continue and expand their huge (101 cameras, so far) red light camera system.
Kuehl will be up for re-election in Nov. 2018 and Nov. 2022.
Do you live in Orange County, in or
near Tustin, Orange, Lake Forest, Placentia or Yorba
Linda? Is Donald Wagner your State assemblymember?
Wagner, who probably will be running for a Senate seat in 2016, was the sponsor of AB 2487, a 2014 bill which would have taken away your right to a Trial de Novo.
Asm. Donald Wagner
Please don't reward him with your vote.
Recorded and Citations Printed
Source data (provided by City):
In July and August 2012 monthly
ticketing citywide averaged 2675, a level last seen in
Code Lookup Chart
In the city-provided tables the camera
locations are encoded. Use the Code Lookup Chart
below to decipher the code.
In this table, cameras notated with one
or more marks are believed to have been
Camera CSDA-01, which was
on the border with Moreno Valley, was shut down in April
2012 after that City requested its removal.
Per a Nov. 1, 2012 Press
Enterprise article, these cameras were shut off on Sept.
30, 2012, and the equipment was to be removed.
These cameras were shut off in 2013, possibly due to freeway construction.
The chart above is as was published by
the City on its website (see Set # 5, below),
except that highwayrobbery.net added a column
of intersection codes, the entry for camera
RIV-CSDA-01, and the notations indicating
In the City's tables of ticket counts, Violations Captured is believed to represent total incidents photographed by the camera (including during any warning period), and Citations Printed is believed to represent the sum of any warning notices mailed, genuine citations issued (those filed with the court), plus any Nominations mailed (not filed with the court, a.k.a. Snitch/phishing/fake Tickets).
Speaking of Snitch Tickets...
Riverside issues a lot of Snitch Tickets. Per this spreadsheet found in emails obtained via a public records request, the fakes were 47% of everything they mailed out in 2011.
Read this 2012 discussion, also obtained via a public records request:
RedFlex employee: "I can reissue this but you can't see the face on the correct vehicle at all. The windshield is very dirty and it caused a glare."
Riverside employee: "Thanks. It subsequently went out as a corporate notice [Snitch Ticket] to 'educate' the driver."
Riverside Camera Locations as of Fall 2012
Map by MapPoint.com
Red dots represent Riverside camera locations as of Sept. 2009.
Green dots are cameras which were operated by the City of Moreno Valley until Jan. 2010.
Dots with an X represent intersections where some or all cameras were removed prior to 2013.
In Apr. 2009 the camera at 91/Tyler (near the Galleria) issued 2441 tickets, a state record.
Then in Oct. 2009 Riverside's camera at Indiana/Arlington beat that record, with 2472 tickets issued.
Major businesses at or near 91/Tyler:
Abercrombie & Fitch, America's Tire Store, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Burlington Coat Factory, Children's Place, Days Inn, Disney Store, Econo Lodge, Frederick's of Hollywood, Gap, Godiva Chocolatier, Guess, Gymboree, Kaiser Medical, JC Penney, Lamps Plus, Macy's, Men's Wearhouse, Michaels, Motherhood Maternity, Nordstom, Payless ShoeSource, Quality Inn & Suites, Sanrio Surprises, See's Candies, Sleep Number, Shiekh Shoes, Sport Chalet, Staples, Target, Three Day Blinds, Toys R Us, Tuesday Morning, Vans Shoes, Victoria's Secret, Wet Seal.
Major businesses at or near Indiana/Arlington:
Ace Cash Express, AJ Wright, Arlington Dental Group, Cardenas Market, Enterprise Car Rents, Payless Shoes, Popeye's Chicken, Rite Aid, Starbucks, Target, Wonder Bread, Yum Yum Donuts.
From Dec. 2006 to Aug. 2009, the cameras at the six camera-enforced intersections in the downtown-university corridor issued 24,796 tickets carrying (approx.) $10 million in fines.
Major businesses near cameras in the downtown-university corridor:
Marriott Riverside, Courtyard by Marriott Riverside, Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Dynasty Suites, Americas Best Value Inn, Comfort Inn University Riverside, Thunderbird Lodge.
Riverside Docs Set # 2
"Late Time" Graphs
These graphs show, lane-by lane, how late violators were.
Where there is a large number of long Late Time violations in a curb lane, it is believed to indicate heavy ticketing on right turns.
(The curb lane will be the lane with the highest lane number.)
The picture above is an example from another city.
Graphs, Four Cameras, Feb. 2013
Early 2013 was the first time Riverside agreed to provide their graphs. Until then, Riverside's email records - obtained via a public records request - included something almost as useful, a spreadsheet giving a lane-by-lane breakdown of citations issued during 2011.
Our Analysis of the Spreadsheet
In 2011 61% of all red light camera tickets citywide went to motorists who were in the rightmost lane, most likely for rolling right turns. Ten cameras exceeded 80%.
We expect that the citywide percentage of rolling right tickets will increase. In late 2012, twelve cameras were shut down and removed. In 2011, 67% of the tickets from the seventeen cameras not later removed went to motorists in the rightmost lane.
Bar graphs are available for more than fifty other cities - see the list in the expanded version of Defect # 9.
Riverside Docs Set # 3
Council meeting of Oct. 25, 2011, they voted
5 - 2 (nays: Davis and MacArthur) to approve
a 5-year renewal of the contract.
The council threw away $2 million.
Eight Redflex customers in SoCal are paying below
$3000 per month for their cameras (see FAQ # 17),
yet Riverside agreed to pay much more ($3850)
despite offering the vendor far better economies of
scale than in any other local city. (Usually, when
you buy more of a product, you get a better price.)
They also tried to remove cost
neutrality, but failed. While the contract
amendment mentions that cost neutrality is to be
removed, they overlooked the following clauses in
Exhibit D of the amended contract.
4(b) Payment will only
be made by Customer up to the amount of cash
The 2011 renewal included a
contract amendment (see Sec. 6.3) allowing the City
to cancel the contract on short (60 days)
notice. At the June 18, 2012 Public Safety
Committee Meeting, the councilmembers voted 2 - 0
(Ayes: McArthur, Melendrez;
Absent: Hart) to accept a staff recommendation
to discontinue the program. A major factor in
that recommendation was CalTrans' refusal to renew
the encroachment permits for the five of the City's
cameras that are on CalTrans right-of-way. (Also
read Docs Set # 4, below.)
impossible to attribute
causality to one thing. I
dont know whether and to
what degree the red light
cameras have contributed to
a reduction in traffic
On Oct. 2, 2012 the matter again
came before the council. The new
staff report contained nothing about the
$300,000 discount previously offered, but did say
that CalTrans had changed its mind and will continue
to allow cameras on its right-of-way.
The materials presented at the Oct.
2 meeting included many letters from the public,
such as this
email from a retired 28-year Riverside fire
spoken publicly against the
program several times in the
past, once before the public
safety committee and twice
before the entire council.
Each time, I expressed my
dislike of the general
concept of the program, the
unethical tactics used to
collect fees, inconclusive
data regarding their
effectiveness and the
realization of corporate
profits at the expense of
our citizens. My
position on these matters
has not changed."
A Nov. 1, 2012 Press
Enterprise article said that eleven of the cameras
(noted in Code Lookup Chart,
above) were shut off on Sept. 30, 2012.
Feb. 2013 Study Session -
minutes of the Oct. 2 meeting say:
"Following further discussion a substitute motion was made and carried to (1) continue with the current system incorporating the new legislation [California Senate Bill 1303] to the extent possible and test other possibilities that would make the current program safer until an alternative is found; and (2) present a ballot measure to the voters in June 2013. (Emphasis added.)On Feb. 13, 2013 I heard about a Feb. 26 study session during which the council would consider delaying the vote to November.
In a Feb. 19 article, the PE guessed that the City's motive for delaying the vote could be their concern that the high voter turnout expected for a vote on the cameras would cause the water fund tax matter to fail. The PE wrote:
"If city officials are thinking strategically, they realize the red light camera measure
will inspire voter participation, and measures that even sound like a tax dont usually benefit
from greater turnout. So having the red light camera measure on the same ballot as the water fund transfer
could spell doom for both and if the water fund transfer is voted down,
thats a $5 million hole in the citys 2013-14 budget."
On Feb. 21 an advance copy of the staff report for the Feb 26 meeting was made public on the City's website and in it, City staff claimed that an unsettled lawsuit in Murrieta justified delaying the ballot.
I think that supposed reason is pure baloney, as the situation in Riverside is legally very different than that in Murrieta. In Murrieta, the city council would not voluntarily put the matter on the ballot; the citizens had to force the issue by qualifying a ballot initiative.
I think that the Feb. 19 PE article revealed the true motive.
The staff report also showed that staff has failed to "test other possibilities," as directed by the council in October.
I have a page about that subject matter, which I call Alternatives, or Engineering Countermeasures.
At the Feb. 26 study session the
City Council voted, 5 - 2, to delay the ballot on
the cameras, possibly beyond November.
1. Violations Captured by the "COMA" camera at Columbia/Main dropped 26% between October and November 2007, then leveled out. As of late 2012 this camera was capturing about 400 violations each month, and was not one of the cameras that were decommissioned.
July 2013 Report: City
Attorney Says No Ballot, Ever
In a report
prepared for the July 23, 2013 council meeting the
city attorney said that the council could
not legally keep their promise to let the voters
vote about the cameras.
At their June 17 meeting the
council considered a staff
report, took public testimony, and voted 6 -
1 to ask staff to come to the July 8 meeting with a
plan to close the program.
On July 9 the city manager directed
RedFlex to turn off the cameras at 11:59 pm on Sept.
15. He also wrote:
"Please note it is the intent of
the City to continue issuing all photo red light
violations captured prior to the equipment shut off
date identified above. Additionally the City
intends to process these violations to their final
It took a couple years, but eventually CalTrans came to the same conclusion. In Jan. 2012 they wrote to the City:
"Based on the above findings, the Red-Light cameras at these locations [ Tyler/91, Indiana / Arlington, Mulberry / 14th] are not warranted and have to be removed."
That would have been the end of those cameras but lack of a safety justification was trumped by the State's need for money (the cameras at those three intersections produced more than half of all the tickets in town, worth $25 million in fines). By Oct. 2012 - after lobbying by the City - CalTrans changed its mind and agreed to allow the cameras to stay. Article
Riverside Docs Set # 5
Info at City's Website
The camera program is operated by the Dept. of Public Works, and they have a page with a small amount of info on it.
Riverside Docs Set # 6
There may be some more Riverside information posted in the next few weeks. Mark your calendar to remind you to come back here and look!
RED LIGHT CAMERAS