Charlie Beck and Red Light Electrolysis

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Red Light Cameras seemed to be a good idea about 20 years ago.  As the waves of  immigrants and out of state vehicles inhabited the highways and byways of California back then….there seemed to be alot of ne’er-do-well lawbreakers that thought they were still in Texas or New York or Montana….where the rules of the road were seldom enforced properly.  The typical do-gooders in the meantime, were taunting lawmakers to do the right thing and implement “Electronic Surveillance” –  found the technology to be rather expensive.  The cameras back then were also “clunky”, “Un-Techy” and in fact were very ugly devices that made the various Intersections look downright ridiculous.

Then came came the reign of the “Traffic Control Management Systems”.  These were cameras initially designed to allow someone in a City or County Control Center and switch the lights if Emergency Vehicles, Police, Fire or for simple Traffic Jams – to expedite “traffic flow”.  Who could argue with this kind of logical system?   Then came the “Emergency Garage Door Technology”.  Instead of relying on someone in a Central Control Point….just give Fire and Police Vehicles these essentially simple “Switch the lights to Green – Garage Door Opener”.  This way, the typical Code 3 or Code 5 Dispatch could be expedited quickly.

Then came those famous Public/Private Partnerships!  You know, some company wants to sell stuff to cities and counties, makes some backdoor deals and the next thing you know…..Red Light Cameras are “Ubiquitous”.  They are everywhere!  Pretty soon, it didn’t matter whether the Intersections identified were a danger to anyone or not.  Initially, it was so bad that the Intersections didn’t even have signage, warning people that the Intersection was Red Light Enforced.  Finally, that little problem got rectified after several years of fines and then challenges by the public and finally State Lawsuits and forcing many communities to return the fines.  The biggest problem with Red Light Cameras is the “Time Setting for Yellow”.  This little item is something can be fooled with without even any doubt.  It is easier to do that setting your alarm clock at home.  The infamous “Quick Yellow” is still being used when no one is looking.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is speaking today, all about how necessary Red Light Cameras are for vehicle safety in Los Angeles.  What Chief Beck is downplaying is the fact that 60% of the Red Light Camera violations come from people making a right on a red light, because they didn’t come to a complete stop before making that right turn.  Chief Beck also, isn’t talking too much about how the 32 Cameras in LA were placed at their locations, not because of accidents, tickets  or close calls at those locations – but rather because each City Council Member was supposed to get three for their Districts.  What Chief Beck is also not saying too loudly is that 40% to 60% of Red Light violations are not being paid.  Just the cost of chasing people with outstanding violations is terrible.  Additionally, the companies that put these Cameras up – charge a heft monthly price to maintain them as well.  So far, LA has lost $2.5 million dollars trying to pay just for the upkeep and change out of equipment due to age, wear and tear or upgrades.

The City of Anaheim along with many other communities around Orange County, San Diego and Riverside County….recently have caught on.  The facts were taht just a few companies and agents prospered, while many tourists, out of towners and the elderly have been caught in the ongoing $500 a ticket scam.  A scam by the way,” that raises everyones Insurance rates”.  Local rates don’t forget are based on how many lawbreakers you have – getting tickets every year.  Enforcement by police officers is obviously preferred to the faceless, godless Red Light Electrolysis!  Plucking  lawbreakers out of a hat, many times simply based upon the fact that the car in front of you, refuses to clear the interection and your face and license plate are caught on the “Big Brother Camera”.

We implore the City Council of Los Angeles to reject this awful excuse for Electronic Effeciency and demand that the City of Los Angeles stop paying for junk law enforcement.  How many on the street officers could they get for $2.5 million dollars a year?  A few……but more importantly – make their communities more conducive to tourists and their own citizens.  Meanwhile, the cameras are still Clunky and Old Techy!

This electronic wave has taken the United Kingdom and Germany by storm.  People are being ticketed for littering on their highways, speeding in the wrong areas, making the wrong turns at the wrong times and finally and most terrible – being charged for how many miles they drive every day, week, month or year.  Enforcement by Electronic means is fine if you live in a country, where people all agree to pay homogeniously!  In places like Los Angeles…it could be a problem!  People say that can’t happen here – well maybe that was so,  before we went Global……but nowadays?

For LAPD  Chief Beck…….”Sorry Charlie! Your mouthwash ain’t making it on this issue.” – paraphrased from a Dirty Harry movie!

No more Red Light Electrolysis!


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.