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Murrieta Voters to Decide Whether to Ban Red-Light Cameras

A yes vote on Measure N means the red-light cameras should be taken out of Murrieta; a no vote means they should stay.

Voters in Murrieta tomorrow will decide whether red-light camera systems in place at three intersections—which advocates say have saved lives but critics counter are ineffective and unfair—should stay or go.

Measure N asks Murrieta residents whether the existing red-light cameras should be removed and the city council barred from installing additional ones in the future. The systems were first deployed in 2006.

"The unfortunate truth is that red light ticketing cameras can't improve safety because they cannot prevent the serious collisions caused by motorists who are impaired, distracted or fatigued and enter the intersection long after the light has turned red," according to a campaign statement from Measure N proponents. "More tickets, less safety."

The initiative backers, who include conservative activist Diana Serafin and Safer Streets L.A. Executive Director Jay Beeber, say a comparison of collision data from the five years before the city's red light cameras were installed to the five years after shows collisions overall jumped 120 percent, while rear-end collisions spiked a whopping 285 percent higher.

"And while the cameras increased accidents, by the time of this election, Murrieta will have issued almost 12,000 tickets at almost $500 each, removing millions of dollars from our local economy and wasting thousands of valuable police man hours," initiative backers wrote. "The vast majority of these tickets go to drivers who miss the end of the yellow phase by a fraction of a second."

Initiative opponents, including Councilmen Rick Gibbs and Alan Long, argue that Measure N's authors are spinning data to suit their purposes. Opponents wrote in a ballot statement that red-light running at camera-enforced intersections plummeted from 5,100 to 121 incidents from 2005 to 2011 and that half the people ticketed were three car lengths away from the intersection when the light changed and they chose to continue through it.

"Seventy-two percent of the red light violations were written to drivers who do not live in Murrieta," opponents said. "It is people passing through our town who put your life in danger."

The city of Los Angeles deactivated its red-light camera system last year based on doubts about its effectiveness as a deterrent and the fact that local courts wouldn't uphold the citations.

From 2004 to 2010, the city of Los Angeles issued 183,000 tickets, valued at more than $80 million. An audit of the automated traffic enforcement program, however, found no corresponding increase in safety at the intersections generating citations.

Jim November 06, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Remember : Vote YES for NO cameras.
The Republican November 06, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Just voted Yes On N
Keith Broaders November 06, 2012 at 04:43 PM
The number of people that die from lung cancer every year far exceeds the number of people killed in our intersections due to the people running red lights. The number of deaths associated with obesity could be reduced if we were to tax people by the pound. The red light cameras are just violate the principles of personal liberty and individual responsibility.
The Republican November 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Yeah you don't see many fat people over 55. Obesity weeds the weak seniors out.
Hpnotiq November 06, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I'm torn regarding red light cameras. I think that there are certain areas in Murrieta that need them. For instance, I support the idea that they should be placed around school intersections. There have been too many accidents in the news where drivers have hit students while they are crossing in a crosswalk. Some of these crosswalks had red light cameras and investigators used the recorded information to find out what really happened. So my question is, who would be in charge of deciding where these cameras go and/or would these cameras be put at every busy intersection? Thank you in advance for your responses.
Diana Serafin November 06, 2012 at 08:25 PM
@Hpnotiq The Freedom of Information emails we got show that the Police Department and the Camera Co (ATS) determine where the cameras are placed. It is determined on how many tickets they can get so it generates $$$$. They do NOT research accident or sccident issues. ATS with the police dept. put out "rat" cameras at 20 locations to see which intersections the next cameras would go. It could be anywhere in the city. The "rat" cameras were temporary cameras that took pictures of any potential violations. Again it has nothing to do with accidents. There are proven ways to make our intersections safe: 1) extend the yellow timing 2) make a 4 way red interval (all cars have a red for a few seconds) 3) Scynchronize the lights Loma Linda and Hawthorne did this and reduced accidnets and tickets by 90%. I hope this helps. Vote Yes on N
Keith Broaders November 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Rather than trying to micro manage the behavior of the people why not simply punish those that violate the law. If a person is responsible for the death or injury of another person fine them one million dollars or sentence them to life in prison. Why punish people that do not violate the life, liberty or property of other residents?
Mary November 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM
@Repuke, so let me get this straight, you voted in Murrieta and voted Yes on Measure N, yet last week (11.01.12) you wrote "you live and work in Temecula". How's that work ?
packerfan November 06, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Oh big suprise for you Gorilla!!!!! I do not vote until tonight, but I will let you know that I am voting NO on N!!!!. If the cameras get taken out then it is showing what Murrieta is really like. I will bet you anything that if the cameras are voted to leave then we will have more speeding tickets because people will not stop for the red light. VOTE NO ON N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Republican November 06, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I am registered to vote in Murrieta. That is how that works!
Mary November 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Brain fart Repuke? Can’t blame it on a senior moment, otherwise you would have been “weeded out”.
The Republican November 06, 2012 at 09:45 PM
No Mary I work out 5 days a week and take care of myself so i can enjoy my young girlfriend. I am a long way from being weeded out
N1smo2go November 06, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I will vote to keep the cameras. More signage needs to be put off warning people of red light cameras. Murrieta Hot springs has always been a horrible road to drive. Sign placements, cameras and the entrance and exit turns are poorly designed in the half residential half business neighborhood. the only way to protect yourself on that road is to use your mirrors and assume someone will hit you and give yourself car length space at lights, and proceed looking both directions going through the intersections(oh wait that sounds like drivers ed), or get yourself a lifted diesel truck with steel reinforced side bars and bumpers that will dare any one to get you close to you, like I did.
Mary November 06, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Live in Temecula, but registered in Murrieta. Right ?
Hpnotiq November 06, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Thank you all so much. I really appreciate your comments.
Keith Broaders November 06, 2012 at 10:41 PM
The Red Light Companies that have donated money to defeat Proposition N obviously are motivated in maintaining their scheme to generate profits for their stockholders. If you think that they are the concerned with saving lives you are sadly mistaken. One of the best ways to determine how to vote is to follow the money trail. Those that vote for Proposition N are voting for personal liberty and individual responsibility and those that vote no are voting to authorize our city government to pick the pockets of residents that have committed no crime. For a crime to take place and victim needs to be created. If a person runs a red light and no one is harmed no crime has been committed. If someone causes an accident and crime has been committed and it is the responsibility to City to punish the guilty party.
Mary November 06, 2012 at 10:43 PM
@Hpnotiq -- the camera locations are solely determined by the Murrieta PD. It is true the camera company suggests locations where there are the most infractions, but the PD makes the final decision and do so based on the history of an intersection. For instance, the Nutmeg and Clinton Keith camera was put in place because of an earlier fatality. Recently (1 year or so ago) the camera company recommended a few of the freeway off-ramps, but again PD determined those were low accident rate areas and the cameras would be better served elsewhere. Hope this helps you with your decision.
Diana Serafin November 06, 2012 at 11:19 PM
You just voted against the constitution and our freedom but then most people blogging here don't care about our freedom or anyone elses. You like big brother and like the fact that government is controlling all of us. I feel so bad for our children and grandchildren. You all like insurance penalties of $200 for high rear ends. You all love T-bones and rear ends. 50 cities have gotten rid of their cameras in Ca because they get it. I am sorry to say this but where did people on this blog get their education? oh yea they drank the Kool-aid the Politicians gave them!
Diana Serafin November 06, 2012 at 11:25 PM
@Mary - you are wrong about the PD making the decisions about where the cameras go. I have the emails proving ATS is invovled. They find intersections based on REVENUE. How about the lies the city council and PD are telling people. In 2005 we had 11 fatalities - 10 were alcohol related - 5 on the freeway and one at a light - not where the cameras are either. The information given to the public is all 11 fatalies were at the camera intsections -LIES. How about Gibbs telling on the press video the Temecula fatality couple weeks ago would have been prevented by a camera? Well if a camera would of \stop the person fleeing from the first accident he caused then put more cameras in. Yes he caused TWO accidents; fled one and killed in the next. Go ATSA bill Murrieta residents more money and keep taking it out of state. We have stupid residents here!
Mary November 06, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Diana, I am not wrong about the PD making the decisions and I didn't say the camera company wasn't involved. To think otherwise would be silly. Unless you can provide documented evidence that the PD makes their decisions based on revenue, then I will continue to believe them when they have said many times during multiple public presentations that their (PD's) decisions are based on safety.
Diana Serafin November 06, 2012 at 11:40 PM
I can prove it because during the lawsuit we got through the freddom of information act 2 cd's cd containing 1500 pages about the cameras. The lawyer got it and I can make you copies to prove what I am saying. I have had 6 Murrieta Police voting against the cameras. I had witnesses when they told me! email me at d.serafin@verizon,net
Mary November 06, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I've seen the documents you have posted on your website and not one of them proves the PD makes decisions based on revenue. If you had that proof, then you would posted it.
Diana Serafin November 07, 2012 at 12:08 AM
@Mary No you only seen one or two pages - 2 cd's 1500 pages of emails, documents etc. Itt is too big to upload to the web site. I will be glad to burn you a copy of both discs. Then you can read them yourself.
Jake Forrester November 07, 2012 at 06:19 AM
@Keith: Unfortunately, the running of red lights DOES harm life and property. All day, every day, all over the country, people are injured because of people running red lights for various reasons. So basically you're saying you can break any law you want as long as you don't physically harm someone? Someone can point a gun at someone else as long as a trigger isn't pulled? The whole reason we have traffic laws is so that we have a standard which we can look at and know how to expect others to act. If people start ignoring lights, stop signs, speed limits, and other laws, the roads will be exponentially more dangerous.
Keith Broaders November 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Jake, Running a Red Light in itself does not cause injuries, it only creates a threat of doing so. With liberty comes the responsibility to respect the rights of others. When a person violates someone elses life, liberty or property they should be punished. It is easy to establish when this has happened but to punish people for threatening the lives of an potential unidentified individual is not a crime. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land and is not to be regarded to have less authority than traffic rules or the regulations, codes, ordinances and statutes that are inferior to the Constitution. Overweight people pose a threat to their own lives and liberty. Should we lock them up in the interest of health safety.
James C. Walker November 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Diana Serafin deserves our congratulations, and she showed what one really dedicated person can do to rally the public and gather help from like minded groups to support a correct cause. Cameras also went down to defeat in Newport Beach and League City, Texas. One city and one state at a time, the cameras will be defeated and politicians will no longer have the the temptation to have their engineering departments engineer traffic lights for maximum ticket revenue. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association.
Keith Broaders November 07, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Congratulation to the voters of Murrieta for their ability to reject the use of the Red Cameras. This is a victory for liberty and Constitution. The residents of Murrieta have spoken and their voice is being heard across the land. Because of the efforts of Diana Serafin other cities will come to realize that the fundraisng cameras have no place in a land where individual liberty and responsibility is respected.
Tom Courbat November 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Yesterday I wrote, "I guess we'll find out today whether major corporations can buy their way to having their own way." The proof came out this morning, "No, they cant"! Just like other super-rich politicians failing to buy senate seats, the governorship and the presidency, the voters always become suspicious when huge sums of money are expended. I am always amazed when someone like Diana can be outspent by over $100 to $1 and still prevail in her cause. People just don't like having their picture show up in the mail with a $490 fine attached. Drivers should NOT go speeding through red lights risking life and limb (literally) but the "red in both directions" idea seems like it would significantly reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities without imposing on individual privacy. I know, cameras are everywhere, at stores, malls, gas stations, etc. But they don't pick-pocket $490 from people's wallets every time they see them. And yes, it's supposedly only those who, after video review, "violated the law" that receive the high-priced ticket (I'm told they used to be about $275 before the great recession), let's make the intersections safer by design first. I understand that ballot measures to ban red light cameras are almost ALWAYS successful, probably because of the 'big brother' aspect they seem to invoke in people's minds. I received THREE very large, slick double-sided card-stock mailers in my mail box in just ONE day before the election. ATS spent big & lost.
Cyclist November 07, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Republican, you are not anti-Random, you are on a mission to slander him anywhere you can, and that is illegal. You are a piece of scum because you have spread lies about his family before. Go away troll.
Laura November 08, 2012 at 08:00 PM
The ticket fee is $500.00 not including the $50.00 if you request traffic school. I know I ALWAYS stop at a red prior to turning right, however, in viewing the video it looks chopped up and put back together, it looks as though I did not stop, which indicates someone has manipulated the video. I work with digital media and I know what it looks like when someone has messed around with the graphics. These cameras are a joke, and the companies in Arizona are manipulating them so people are forced to pay. I hope they do an investigation on this, and refund everybody they ripped off. They out to be ashamed of themselves.

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