Red light cameras could soon be out of El Cajon

El Cajon councilman wants them removed

EL CAJON, Calif. - The city of San Diego recently put a stop to its red light camera program, and now another city may do away with their red light cameras.

There are signs are at various locations throughout El Cajon that read "photo enforced," but now El Cajon City Councilman Gary Kendrick said it's time to bring those cameras down.

The cameras are ready to snap pictures of drivers running red lights, and a fine can run up to $500 per ticket.

"I'd like to see them go. I don't think they promote safety. I think they just promote revenue enhancement," said El Cajon resident John Davis.

Kendrick told 10News, "The public despises the red light cameras."

Kendrick wants the green light to have them removed, and he said there are two main reasons some people want them out.

"They resent the fact that a machine gives them a ticket. They resent the fact that they can't confront a machine in court," said Kendrick.

Many drivers may not even know they got a ticket until two weeks later when the notice arrives in the mail.

10News learned some of camera boxes are actually decoys so motorists never know which cameras are snapping pictures.

The intersection at Main Street and Mollison Avenue is where many people have been caught either running a red light or doing a rolling stop.   

"Some people have actually said they avoid shopping in the city of El Cajon because of the red light cameras," said Kendrick.

According to Kendrick, more than 10,500 red light camera tickets were issued in El Cajon in 2011, adding up to about $5 million in revenue.

However, less than 10 percent of that money went back to the city, and the rest went to the company operating the cameras.

Kendrick said he'd rather see people spending that money at local businesses than on ticket fines.

"I'd rather see the people spending the money on food and milk for their kids," Kendrick said.

10Mews spoke to people on the streets of El Cajon and only one person was in favor of keeping the cameras, saying it was about safety, but she would not go on camera to express her feelings.

Davis said there are ways to keep busy intersections safe.

"Yeah, if they've got what they feel is an unsafe intersection, bring in a police officer in and let him cite people," said Davis.

The El Cajon City Council will take up the red light cameras issue later this month.

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