.

Remove Red-Light Cameras, Murrieta City Officials Recommend

City Manager Rick Dudley and police Chief Mike Baray have submitted a recommendation to conclude the red-light camera program and end the city’s contract with American Traffic Solutions.

Red-light cameras may become a thing of the past in Murrieta if City Council concurs with city administrators.

City Manager Rick Dudley and police Chief Mike Baray have submitted a recommendation to conclude the red-light camera program and end the city’s contract with American Traffic Solutions.

City Council will be asked to vote on the matter at a public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The city’s five-year contract with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions—previously Nestor Traffic Systems—dates back to 2005, when, at the prompting of the Murrieta Police Department and Public Safety Traffic Commission, cameras were installed at the first of three intersections.

But in 2011, a citizens’ movement began in an effort to ban the city from using automated traffic enforcement such as the cameras. They were successful in gaining enough signatures for the item to be placed on the November 2012 ballot, when 57 percent of Murrieta voters approved Measure N.

In the meantime, due to the pending ballot initiative and subsequent lawsuits, the city and ATS kept the cameras in place on a month-to-month basis, City of Murrieta Management Analyst Brian Ambrose wrote in a report prepared for City Council.

The cameras were shut off Dec. 14 following the November election; however City officials expressed disbelief when they learned that ATS kept its sensors on, enabling the company to continue collecting data on "citable red-light violations."

In April, Riverside Superior Judge Daniel Ottolia overturned Measure N, ruling that traffic matters were regulated by the State of California; therefore the City of Murrieta was not legally bound to enforce it.

Following Ottolia’s decision, City Attorney Jeffery Morris told Patch it was the City Council’s decision whether it would adopt Measure N.

While the recommendation before City Council does not address Measure N, it calls for an end to the red-light cameras.

“...It is recommended that the City Council direct the City Manager to draft a letter to ATS requesting the removal of the red light cameras, equipment and all software associated with the Program,” Ambrose wrote in the resolution up for a City Council vote.

There were two goals when the program was first implemented, Ambrose wrote: reduce red-light violations and reduce dangerous broadside traffic collisions caused by red-light violations.

“During the years the program was operational, the Murrieta Police Department provided updates on the program’s effectiveness. On both stated goals, the program was successful according to quantitative data," Ambrose wrote. "However, issues were raised regarding the cost of red light tickets (set by the State) and other issues.”

Ed Remmell May 04, 2013 at 05:50 PM
$500 fine for just missing the yellow when turning right on red ... amazing. Can't dispute the photo evidence, my wife's front wheels were just slightly behind the line when the light turned red. This is the same fine charged for someone barreling straight through the red light. Is it fair? Certainly not. I voted against the red light cameras. If they had been used solely to make our streets safer rather than to enrich ATS, perhaps things would have gone differently.
Alek J Hidell May 04, 2013 at 07:14 PM
We need the cameras, just stop using them for redlight tickets and use them for criminal surveillance instead. Lots of SUV's tearing up the streets in Murrieta and I don't want my kid killed by one.. slow the hell down, soccer moms!
Jim May 04, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Californians and visitors need to know about Snitch Tickets, the fake/phishing camera tickets sent out by the police to fool registered owners into id'ing the actual driver of the car. Over 30 cities use them, and in some cities the fakes are more than half of everything the city mails out. Snitch Tickets have not been filed with the court, so they don’t say “Notice to Appear,” don’t have the court’s address and phone # on them, and usually say, on the back (in small letters), “Do not contact the court about this notice” or "Courtesy Notice - This is not a ticket." Since they have not been filed with the court, they have zero legal weight. You can, and should, ignore a Snitch Ticket. Skeptical? Google: Snitch Ticket. Been in LA County? A REAL camera ticket from ANY city in LA County can be ignored, as the LA courts do not report ignored tickets to the DMV. This was revealed in multiple LA Times articles in July 2011. Skeptical? Google: Red light camera voluntary. Pass this info around. If you take the time to educate your friends about these things, you may find that suddenly you are eating better. A lot of people will be buying you lunch after they realize that you have just saved them from paying a $500 ticket.
all-c-ing-eye May 04, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Never again, Red Light/Short yellow traps should be banned everywhere. The only solution to american traffic solutions is to have a Murrieta city bonfire where all of the equipment is burned or where the citizens can smash the hell out of the equipment with axes. thank you to the city reps that heard the cry and responded to the voice of the people, you will be viewed in a most pleasant light in the next election.
kristin c May 04, 2013 at 10:36 PM
I think if you follow the rules of the road, the cameras shouldn't bother you. But if you are one of those rude, selfish idiots that think you own the road and rules don't apply to you, then of course you'll be happy to see them go.
Diane May 05, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Well, then you should take a trip to Australia, to see how the speed cameras on their freeways operate. Try feeling like a robot. Everyone is frightened to go over the maximum anywhere, and the speed limit is around 65 mph or less. You feel like you are in the 5th grade and the teachers were watching you, but now it is the government...everywhere. Kind of like 1984. By the way, speed cameras on the freeway in Australia have been there for at least 10 years.
Diane May 05, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Excellent point Roy
Diane May 05, 2013 at 03:26 AM
Kristin, I think you need medication.
kristin c May 05, 2013 at 04:58 AM
Why because im a safe driver ? I have had way too many close calls with people who dont care about others on the road. Ive also missed lights because people block the intersections so they dont have to sit through a red light. And then there are the red light runners. Ive seen up to 6 cars make left turns when my light is green and it happens daily at the Haun and Newport intersection. I think youre a troll.
REZ10 May 05, 2013 at 08:48 AM
Kristin C, Be careful, Diane is one of those "I own the road, so I can do what I want drivers". That's why she took offense. Only those who run the lights have any fear of action against them. If you stop like you're supposed to you'll never get a “red-light" ticket. Novel idea...
Diane May 05, 2013 at 06:38 PM
THIS is the reason I said what I said - you two - Kristin & REZ10 are the type of people who only see things in black and white. By the way, I have NEVER received a ticket, nor have I ever ran a red light. I do, however, make California stops - which are LEGAL - and if you two had a brain in your head, you would KNOW that these red light cameras were giving tickets for LEGAL California right turns. Now read this post from me as well you pair of know-nothings! "Well, then you should take a trip to Australia, to see how the speed cameras on their freeways operate. Try feeling like a robot. Everyone is frightened to go over the maximum anywhere, and the speed limit is around 65 mph or less. You feel like you are in the 5th grade and the teachers were watching you, but now it is the government...everywhere. Kind of like 1984. By the way, speed cameras on the freeway in Australia have been there for at least 10 years."
jim monaco May 05, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Wave goodby to the bounty hunters.
Paul W. May 05, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Paul, I believe this is a public safety issue, not something left to voters. A majority vote against red light cameras doesn't mean it's right. While I agree the camera and sensing system may be too sensitive, that can be corrected as well as not monitoring for right turn infractions. Lets catch the obvious red light runners that blow through intersections endangering other people's lives. Our City counsel needs to put safety first over a slight majority of voters, and make the system work for the public as a whole.
Mr. Logical May 05, 2013 at 09:42 PM
I'm happy to see them go and I obey the laws and am happy to share the road with other people.
Mr. Logical May 05, 2013 at 09:45 PM
I agree that there are a lot of bad drivers. People who run red lights, gab on their phones and text. The texters sit at the light when it is green and then almost rear end you at the red lights. Would like to see more police giving tickets to these knuckle-heads.
Steve Newman May 05, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Well I for one am glad the city has stepped up and followed the wishes of the voters. To Kristin C- did you vote for the cameras? Or vote at all. That, along with attending council meetings will give you a cnace to air your feelings. To Diana S- thank you for leading the way on this issue, and others that the city has ignored. To: Shane- Boo hoo-lost another one.
SA May 06, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I am so glad to see the cameras go… How much more government do we need in our lives? It is bad enough when the president goes to Mexico and slams American and then have to be accountable for infractions that we may have not committed. We live in a sick time…
WrigsMom May 06, 2013 at 04:57 PM
You are right! All wee wee'd up! Now it's Obama's fault! You just confirmed the point!
Diana Serafin May 06, 2013 at 05:30 PM
BUTTS IN SEATS AGAIN! I need your support again and I realize this is last minute. The city council is going to vote on the Red Light Cameras. The Red Light Cameras is item C4 Conclusion of Red Light Camera Program (CC) (Ambrose). I do not want to let up until we win what we voted for. We can speak at this time. I am also going to continue to push for extension of the yellow lights and red by one second. This will be during public comment time.
SA May 06, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Nothing can be his fault as he only takes credit for things that he has not done…. I was simply using him or “it” as an example demonstrating how wrong our current government is ….
WrigsMom May 06, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Ed, my wife got caught for the same thing. And I got caught just plain ole running the red in Corona....my bad! I still voted to keep the cameras. I live very close to one of the intersections that has them and honestly since they have been taken down people are crazed again. Basically you and I agree.
WrigsMom May 06, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Once again your statement proves the point! Blame everyone else, assume no responsibility....it's the teabagger way!
SA May 06, 2013 at 07:50 PM
You are very amusing! Your utopian life would put a camera on every corner, tax citizens to death and make every citizen dependent on the state (just saying). Stalin and Hitler tried this and look what they got …. Our government needs to back off, this includes but no limited to the removal of “red light cameras” ….
REZ10 May 06, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Diane, "...I have NEVER received a ticket, nor have I ever ran a red light. I do, however, make California stops - which are LEGAL - and if you two had a brain in your head..." Really?..You might want to get a copy of the DMV handbook and then apply for your first license. "California Stops" have never been legal. What part of stop is not registering in that addled head of yours? You exemplify all that is wrong with drivers. You think you know the law but in reality you're just clueless. Shocker to find that out...
WrigsMom May 06, 2013 at 10:33 PM
At the risk of repeating myself.....you continue to prove the point! And clairvoyant too....amazing! You know nothing about me, who I am, how I vote and yet you THINK you do.....yes you are truly amazing! Oh, sorry I meant amusing!
Timber May 07, 2013 at 05:33 AM
See you there.
Timber May 07, 2013 at 05:52 AM
"..They don't want any laws or regulations..." Advocating for proper and reasonable traffic engineering for the explicit goal of safety is not the same as calling for the elimination of the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which REGULATES. Divisive much?
James C. Walker May 07, 2013 at 02:45 PM
For Ed: The cameras were never intended to be fair, or even related closely to safety. The cameras were used for revenue, and were very effective for that purpose. In almost every case, fewer violations and greater safety can be achieved with better engineering - without the massive economic loss to the community by sending so much money to Sacramento and Arizona. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association
James C. Walker May 07, 2013 at 02:50 PM
For Paul W.: The problem with setting adequately long yellow intervals for the actual approach speeds and not monitoring for right turn infractions is that the expensive cameras would lose SO much money that no city would use them. If cameras and traffic lights were engineered to cite ONLY dangerous drivers, the entire red light camera industry would go bankrupt. There ARE some dangerous drivers that deserve red light citations - but they are far too few to even pay the basic camera costs, let alone produce the profits the camera companies and the cities demand from camera systems. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association
James C. Walker May 07, 2013 at 02:53 PM
We hope that the city approves the resolution to completely conclude the red light camera program and direct ATS to dismantle and remove the equipment. Two more actions would help to prevent any future issues with ticket cameras. The city could add from 0.7 to 1.0 seconds to the yellow intervals for a likely reduction in violations of at least 60% and perhaps as much as 90%. This would make it very clear that the cameras are not as effective in preventing straight through violations as correct engineering. The Council could pass a resolution that any future use of ticket cameras would require a positive vote of the electorate before the request for proposals process could even start. James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something