October 2014 home page

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Candid Camera Seeing Red
Dave Druker | 10th Street

In 2003, the City Council approved the installation of four red-light cameras at two intersections. At the time of installation, the city was concerned with the potential serious accidents caused by the “running of red lights” and the potential for income. The potential for income never came to fruition as the cost of the cameras, and moreover the cost of processing the tickets exceeded the revenue provided by the tickets issued.

Over time, the intersections at Via de la Valle/Camino del Mar and Camino del Mar and 4th St./Del Mar Heights have become safer as drivers have become more aware of the red light cameras. Also the standards for enforcing the tickets have become more rigorous and demand that the cameras be upgraded to enhanced digital. Finally, the review of the tickets must be completed by an authorized officer.

The camera rental costs are $56,790 per year, the costs for review are $65,000 per year and the expected revenues for FY are about $40,000 per year. The contract for these cameras is due to expire in 2016.

On Monday, September 15 the City Council authorized the city manager to revise the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems to upgrade the system and determine if another intersection was appropriate for red light cameras. The City Council also requested that a full report be created that would help the next council to determine if the contract should be renewed once it expires in 2016. The report requested will include a study of the safety impacts of the red light cameras.



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