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Los Angeles Installs New Camera System to Catch Red Light Runners

September 28, 2007

LOS ANGELES – A new photo red light system is going up at a busy intersection in south Los Angeles according to KNBC News.

It's one of 26 sites equipped with new cameras designed to get clearer pictures of violator license plates. However, according to KNBC's Robert Kovacik, the LAPD says the program is months behind schedule and failing to meet citation goals.

Kovacik reported that in the San Fernando Valley, four out of ten drivers caught running red lights by the special cameras are not cited, largely because of poor photo evidence or outdated registration information on the vehicles involved.

The fifth camera system designed to catch drivers running red lights in South Los Angeles will go into operation Oct. 3 at Normandie and Gage Avenues, authorities said.

This is the city's 26th red light system, which photographs license plates on vehicles that run red lights. About 32 will be installed, according to Sgt. Matthew MacWillie of the LAPD's Traffic Coordination Section.

In 2005, the city fired its original vendor because of the poor quality of the photos and contracted with a new vendor, Nestor Traffic Systems Inc., city officials said.

The dual-digital video camera system photographs license plates from the front and rear, and officers anticipate that the rear-facing camera will increase the likelihood of convictions. The new system records 30 frames per second for each violation, allowing a greater opportunity to get a clear photograph of the driver, according to KNBC News.

The equipment, which can be adjusted remotely via satellite, can be used to obtain live photographs during an emergency. A sergeant and four officers will be assigned full-time to administer the program.

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