New red-light cameras would be banned under California bill

A California bill is intended to prevent cities from adding red-light cameras at intersections

State Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) has introduced a bill to prohibit the installation of red-light cameras, a move that he says would improve safety and traffic flow on California streets.

Harper's legislation, Assembly Bill 1160, is intended to prevent cities from adding traffic cameras at intersections, but it also would require safety studies for cities that already have them.

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FOR THE RECORD:

Red light cameras: In the March 8 California section, a photo with an article about a bill to ban red light cameras in the state showed a red light camera at La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, which the caption said was in Los Angeles. The intersection is in West Hollywood. —
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The cameras capture the images of vehicles that have entered an intersection on a red light. This allows the cities that have the cameras to cite the vehicle owners later.

But Harper said the devices have increased the number of rear-end accidents as drivers make sudden stops to avoid a possible violation.

"It was actually a hindrance to the traffic," he said. "Whenever you have those fender-benders and those collisions, traffic has to stop to be able to accommodate those accidents, and it hurts the ability of people to get where they're trying to go, rather than helps.… We're trying to make traffic safer, flow better and trying to address the needs of Californians in terms of transportation."

Harper said he also is concerned about the "Big Brother aspect" of traffic cameras.

"Red-light cameras have been something I've been in opposition to throughout being involved in public life here in Orange County," he said.

Carpio writes for Times Community News.

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