Did you get a red-light camera ticket? Did you pay the fine? If you did, then you're a sucker.
That's the message that motorists in Los Angeles got when it was revealed that red-light camera fines - some of which were as high as $476 - were actually "voluntary."
The Los Angeles Times has the story:
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. [...]
Unlike other moving citations, which are issued directly by a police officer to a driver who signs a promise to appear in court, red-light camera tickets are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle allegedly involved in the violation.
That has limited the Los Angeles County Superior Court system's willingness to aggressively enforce camera ticket collections for the city and 32 other photo enforcement programs in Los Angeles County, officials said.
Under state law, court officials have discretion over how they pursue those who do not respond to camera-generated citations. Los Angeles County Superior Court officials, as a matter of fairness, said that for the last decade they have chosen a less forceful approach partly because the person receiving the ticket may not be the person who was driving the car.
Link (Photo: Glenn Koenig)