The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday tentatively approved a ban on red light cameras, although it would only affect one device installed on the border of Santa Ana at 17th Street and Tustin Avenue.
The red light at the northeast corner of that intersection is governed by Santa Ana, but it is in unincorporated county property. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens had no objection to the ban, which the board approved on first reading. Final approval of the ordinance is expected on Oct. 21.
Board Chairman Shawn Nelson told City News Service that red light camera enforcement is “not a rampant problem” in the county, so it was taken up today because of the board’s “light agenda.”
“Our whole perspective is we don’t support them,” Nelson said of cameras used to catch drivers running red lights. “They’re largely revenue- based, and you get a ton of innocent people showing up in court because they’re the owner of the vehicle and the company (administering the enforcement) doesn’t even bother deciphering whether the driver matches the description of the owner.”
Supervisor Todd Spitzer said he would like county officials to have a much boarder discussion on the use of surveillance cameras, such as ones worn by police officers.
“This is going to be a big issue for society about how much information we’ll gather on people,” Spitzer said during today’s meeting. “In some ways it’s a real intrusion in private lives.”
Nelson said he generally favors officers wearing cameras “because it keeps everyone more honest, it eliminates a lot of allegations against the cops and it prevents people from doing things they regret later.”
— City News Service
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