Mayor Says Camera Program Costs City $600,000 Yearly
SAN DIEGO — It was supposed to make the city safer and maybe a little richer, but so far the controversial red light camera program is doing just the opposite, 10News reported.
Mayor Jerry Sanders said the city needs to re-examine and rededicate the program or scrap it.
At Harbor and Grape, cameras might capture unsuspecting, distracted tourists leaving the airport If drivers run a red light, they have to pay a ticket. For the city, it’s supposed to generate fewer accidents and maybe even a little cash. “It actually costs the city about $600,000 a year,” said Sanders. Sanders said San Diego has too few intersections armed with the cameras, and the delay on those cameras is too slow to break even or seriously reduce accidents. “We see about a 9 percent decrease for red light runners. Most cities using it more widely with a 0.1-second delay actually see up to a 40 percent decrease,” said Sanders. The cameras also caused controversy when they first went in. Judges threw out the tickets because the company maintaining the system profited from the fines. The company no longer gets a cut per ticket, just a flat fee.
Mitchell Mehdy, otherwise known as Mr. Ticket, predicted this moment. “My response is very simple: Shut it down. The system isn’t fair. Have the police officers enforce the laws, not a robot,” said Mehdy.
The mayor plans to talk to the council and decide which way to go — invest in more cameras, cut down the delay time, stop the program or perhaps there’s another idea.