Southern California Protests Against Red Light Camera Tickets
On Monday, February 15th, 2010 from 4:30pm to 6:00pm, the most recent protest against Red Light Photo Tickets was held. Led by a candidate for the Culver City Council, Robert Zirgulis, the protest was held to request the removal of all red light photo ticket cameras in Culver City, if not the whole state.
Held at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Overland Avenue in Culver City, with the help of local Culver City High School students, Candidate Zirgulis distributed hundreds of fliers to cars as they were stopped at the traffic signal. Candidate Zirgulis will continue to lead these demonstrations every Monday and Friday until the city removes the red light photo cameras or addresses the issue at a city council meeting.
“Almost every other person honked in agreement,” Zirgulis said. “The more often I come out here to do this, the more attention I can bring to this issue.”
Candidate Zirgulis says, “I believe that red light cameras should be banned. I want to stop the red light camera ticket ripoff because all they do is fleece drivers and make the camera installation companies and fat cat bureaucrats wealthy.”
Others, especially in law enforcement, have said the red light photo tickets have actually reduced the number of traffic collisions in Culver City. A Culver City Sergeant, Omar Corrales was quoted as saying, “we saw a 64 percent reduction since the start of the program in 1999. Safety is a big deal to us, so our traffic engineers will do what they can to maximize traffic flow and minimize traffic collisions."
Sgt. Corrales agrees that the red light photo tickets are expensive, but he says the average cost of $500 is nothing compared to the cost of traffic collisions.
“When there are injuries involved, there are emergency vehicle fees, insurance company fees and repair fees,” Sgt. Corrales said. In Culver City, if the red light photo camera snaps a shot of you, you can expect the ticket price to be over $400! However, Sgt. Corrales states that the red-light camera program is not about money ‘at the end of the day’. Sgt. Corrales also says that red light photo tickets are no different than hiring more motor officers to go out and write more of these type of citations.
Conversely, Candidate Zirgulis said, “The red-light camera tickets cost drivers $446 plus additional costs for traffic school. This can be a substantial burden to anyone. This disproportionately hurts poor working-class stiffs whose cars might not even be worth $500.”
Zirgulis Cites Studies that the Drivers’ Concern over Red Light Photo Tickets may Cause Accidents
Mr. Zirgulis says “some studies do show that red-light cameras cause accidents. They increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at camera intersections after spotting the cameras. I am calling on citizens throughout the city to protest these infernal red-light cameras at the intersections where they are placed. At Monday’s protest, I want people to hold up signs saying ‘Stop red-light cameras’ and scream, ‘I am mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore’. I want people who have been victims of these red-light cameras to speak out and protest at these intersections also. I intend to start the action to protest these cameras at the intersection of Jefferson and Overland in Culver City every Monday and Friday”.
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