Pasadena scraps revenue cameras, but leaves dangerous mess in their wake
By Martin Hill
August 14, 2012

Even though the city of Pasadena, California put an end to its red light traffic camera program in June, they still have not restored the city sidewalks to a safe condition for pedestrians as is mandated in the contract. The wreckage and jagged metal left over from the wretched cameras still protrudes from the sidewalk on many streetcorners nearly two months after the program was scrapped.

The city had red light cameras installed at three intersections; San Gabriel & Foothill, Lake and Union, and Marengo & Union. Thousands of tickets were issued each year starting in May 2003. A Memorandum from the Pasadena Department of Transportation and Police Department to the City's Public Safety Committee dated December 5, 2011 outlined the reasons for ending the program along with some revealing info (Courtsey of the excellent website
"In Los Angeles County, unlike other counties, the courts have elected to treat non-payment of red light camera violations differently than similar citations issued in person by sworn personnel. The net result of this action is that there is no effective penalty for non-payment of red light camera violations in Los Angeles County. As the lack of consequences has become better known by violators, the rate of non-payment has increased, thereby eroding the program's deterrent effect against red light running."

The document also noted that as more people opted to fight their tickets, the city began to lose revenue:
"The high cost of a citation and greater awareness of how LA County courts have been treating RLC citations has led to an increase in court challenges for RLC citations. The effect on Pasadena of these changes has been an increased number of court appearances for our officers to defend red light running citations. Overall, even with a reduced number of citations, sworn personnel are spending a greater proportion of their time testifying in court because of the increased challenges."

The report added "The annual cost of the contract with ATS, Inc, is approximately $274,100. In fiscal year 2010-2011, revenue for this program was $344,013." Additional costs of electrical charges as well as police and transportation staff totalled $74,400, leaving the city with a deficit of $4,487. The city therefore concluded "Termination of this program will be a direct savings to the City's General Fund."

The document also notes "Under the current contract terms, ATS, Inc. is responsible for removing all above ground equipment and restoring the sidewalk to its original condition." As the photos reveal, the intersection of Lake & Union still has portable orange contraptions set over jagged metal protruding from the streetcorners where the cameras used to be. No one has bothered to return the sidewalks to their original condition. The photo to the left shows the SW & NE corners of Lake and Union. The SE corner, not pictured, also has a mess on it with metal protruding from the sidewalk. One can only assume that the other two Pasadena intersections where the cameras were removed also still have a hazardous mess remaining.

Lest anyone think it's petty or unreasonable to dare hold public servants to the same standard that the 'enforcers' hold everyone else to, it should be noted that the City of Pasadena Code Enforcement revenue department enforces a myriad of petty laws and gives tickets for things such as:
Clotheslines hanging in front yards.
Yard sales without permits
Vehicles parked on the front or side yard.
Illegal and un-maintained signs.
Parking of commercial vehicles on residentially owned lots.
Unscreened trash cans stored in front yard.
Illegal building additions (after the fact).
Illegal business operating in single family homes, condos or apartment buildings.
Illegal conversions of garages and other structures into dwelling spaces.
Illegal parked recreational vehicles.
Overcrowded buildings.
Outdoors storage of inoperative vehicles.
Illegal and un-maintained fences.
Un-maintained buildings.

Other departments give tickets for things such as Cleanliness of Restaurants, Barking Dogs, Mobile Food Trucks operating outside of permitted hours or zones, Noisy neighbors, and pesky Push Cart Vendors. So if they like such a meticulous ordered society, they'd better clean up their own mess; expecially since the red light camera contract calls for it and the camera company made plenty of cash on the backs of motorists, most of whom were probably just making right turns and had no idea about their due process rights.

Pasadena police are known, among other things, for their bizarre warrantless searches at the famous Rose Parade and for fatally shooting a black man in the back eleven times. reminds us that "tickets from cities in LA County can be ignored because the LA County court does not report ignored tickets to the DMV. (That does not apply to other counties.)" The info about LA County tickets is here. Also, be aware of "snitch tickets", fake tickets not issued by a court. The snitch ticket info is here. The great news is that people are fighting back, suing cities and red light camera companies and beating these fraudulent tickets in court. As always, I highly recommend two great websites, and for those ticketed in California.

These pics show the northbound view from southwest corner of Lake & Union, with the mess right next to a bus stop:



Pasadena Police respond to controversial shooting of Leroy Barnes Jr. (shot eleven times) February 27, 2010

Rose Parade attendees surrender 4th Amendment rights in bizzare police squad program November 30, 2009

How Rose parade policing subverted the Constitution "in the spirit of homeland security" January 2, 2010

Pasadena Police refuse to answer question regarding 4th Amendment. Why? January 10, 2010

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, National Motorists Association, WorldNetDaily, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise,,, FreedomsPhoenix, Rense, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at

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