Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red-light cameras: Who knew L.A.'s red-light camera fines were 'voluntary'? - latimes.com

Red-light cameras: Who knew L.A.'s red-light camera fines were 'voluntary'? - latimes.com

Drivers who paid the tickets, some of which are $476, fume at the disclosure that authorities cannot force violators to pay up. But don't expect to get a refund.

City officials this week spotlighted a surprising revelation involving red-light camera tickets: Authorities cannot force violators who simply don't respond to pay them. For a variety of reasons, including the way the law was written, Los Angeles officials say the fines for ticketed motorists are essentially "voluntary" and there are virtually no tangible consequences for those who refuse to pay.

The disclosure comes as the city is considering whether to drop the controversial photo enforcement program, with the City Council scheduled to vote on the matter Wednesday. Even if the program is shut down, it will be little consolation to the tens of thousands like Brickman who already paid fines.

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