The debate over red-light cameras is heating up again as some San Diegans are questioning the number of tickets issued at intersections with cameras and those without.
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The intersection at Harbor Drive and Grape Street is a moneymaker for the city of San Diego, as almost 5,000 red-light camera violation citations are were issued at that location last year.
According to data from the San Diego Police Department's Traffic Division obtained by U-T San Diego, there are five times as many red-light tickets generated by cameras than by police officers.
San Diegan Charlie Vess is all for citations being issued, no matter how it's done.
"It depends on the area because some people
well, you know I don't want to discriminate against anybody, but what's fair is fair. You do wrong, you deserve to be penalized, plain and simple," said Vess.
However, driver Sam Fisher called red-light cameras "speed traps" and "highway robbery," telling 10News, "I think they have the thing rigged; even if it's a yellow light it takes your picture anyway. They got my son twice, got me three times."
John Vanis added, "They're not accurate at all. I've seen people get ticketed and they don't even run through the light. I think we need to get rid of things like that and just have more officers."
There is also a debate over which city intersections should have cameras installed.
Very busy, though not to the level of the Harbor Drive intersection, are cameras at Aero Drive at Murphy Canyon Road and Genesee Avenue at North Torrey Pines Road.
There is currently no camera at the intersection of Dennery Road and Ocean View Hills Parkway in south San Diego, but more than 300 citations were issued there last year.
Resident Amanda Lee is in favor of cameras being installed there.
"People running red lights is my pet peeve, so I wouldn't mind a red-light camera here. I'm happy it's the most ticketed because they're doing due diligence. It also upsets me that people are running red lights here; it's a neighborhood full of children."
Lee's husband, Emeric, isn't so sure, saying, "I hadn't seen too many cars running red lights at this intersection so I can't say it deserves a red-light camera."
Four of the five highest-ticketed intersections without cameras are in south San Diego -- a fact that will be considered as contract renewal of cameras looms.
San Diego Transportation Department spokesman Bill Harris told 10News, "We're going to be taking a good hard look at expansion if the council's interested in moving that way. There are intersections that have a high number of tickets being written and, unfortunately, still some accidents are occurring. We're going to look at all of that before moving forward with any recommendation to expand."
The deadline to renew the contract is the end of the year.
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